Hervey Bay mum Ashleigh Suzanne Rowley was found guilty of fraud after trial in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on July 15.
Hervey Bay mum Ashleigh Suzanne Rowley was found guilty of fraud after trial in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on July 15.

SHADY SHOPPER: Mum's sneaky Bunnings scam exposed

A HERVEY Bay mother's scamming system was laid bare after her acts of fraud were caught on camera.

With her young children in tow, Ashleigh Suzanne Rowley used an empty box and a suspicious receipt to scam two Hervey Bay stores out of hundreds of dollars, Hervey Bay Magistrates Court heard.

CCTV footage shown in court on Monday, July 15, shows Rowley entering Hervey Bay's Bunnings store on November 10.

She then grabbed a vacuum cleaner that matched the barcode of a receipt she was carrying before attempting to return the item.

The return was not completed, with staff asking Rowley to come back later.

Upon reviewing the CCTV footage, staff realised the trick she had tried to pull.

The following weekend on November 17, Rowley returned to the store with a male accomplice, who walked into the store before she entered with her young children, carrying an empty box which resembled a stick vacuum stocked at Bunnings.

The empty box was swapped with a full box from the shelf before Rowley attempted to return it, claiming it was faulty.

A Bunnings staff member was suspicious when she noticed the box of the "faulty vacuum" still had an unbroken manufacturer's seal.

The $249 refund was completed however the staff took a scan of her driver's licence and upon reviewing security footage realised a fraud had taken place.

Rowley was caught on CCTV attempting the same trick at Hervey Bay's Target when she entered the store with her young daughter, who was carrying a large bag.

She can be seen taking items from shelves before attempting to return Bluetooth headphones and a shaving kit worth $98.95 with no proof of purchase.

A staff member, who had just packed the shelves, became suspicious when Bluetooth headphones were missing and none had been brought, but Rowley was given store credit.

She claimed she had bought the goods elsewhere and had them in the bag her daughter was holding when she entered the store.

Magistrate Stephen Guttridge found Rowley guilty of two counts of fraud after a trial.

She was convicted, fined $1000 and ordered to pay restitution.



Increased dingo activity at Fraser Island tourist hotspots

premium_icon Increased dingo activity at Fraser Island tourist hotspots

'Your safety is our concern but your responsibility.'

WATCH: Hero helpers rescue injured baby whale at Rainbow

premium_icon WATCH: Hero helpers rescue injured baby whale at Rainbow

Small team of locals saves injured whale washed up on sand