Mareka Masso leaves court after pleading guilty to stealing.
Mareka Masso leaves court after pleading guilty to stealing.

Pokie player’s purse was fair game for brazen thief

AFTER being caught red-handed stealing a woman’s purse, the thief brazenly walked off with it and $200 cash.

The devastated victim had been playing poker machines inside the Jets League Club and quickly alerted security.

A court heard CCTV footage showed Mareka Masso in the act of stealing.

The law caught up with Masso several weeks later, and the mother of four children went before Ipswich Magistrates Court on Friday.

Mareka Sandra Masso, 33, from Riverview, pleaded guilty to stealing on December 27 last year; possession of dangerous drugs on November 27; and failing to take care/precautions with a used needle/syringe.

Police prosecution said the crime occurred inside the gaming area at Jet’s before 5pm.

The victim saw Masso put her hand into the bag but when she said something, Masso quickly walked away.

Mareka Masso leaves court after pleading guilty to stealing.
Mareka Masso leaves court after pleading guilty to stealing.

The pokie player then discovered her purse was gone, along with $200 that was inside.

Police identified Masso on the footage but did not locate her until January 23.

In the earlier drug related offences on November 27, police intercepted a silver Ford sedan Masso was a passenger in at 1am in Riverview.

The police prosecutor said the male driver had scabs on his arm that were consistent with drug use.

When asked if there was anything illicit to declare, Masso told officers that she had “some dirties” on her, referring to used needles.

A used needle was found along with liquid inside another needle, with Masso saying it was “subbi”, referring to Subutex.

Defence layer Trevor Hoskin said the theft was an opportunistic crime.

He said she was willing to pay the $200 back.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum said Masso had significant history that was most likely related to drug use.

She was fined $500 and ordered to repay the $200.



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