Thefts leave bad taste

A MAN who stole from a backpackers resort not only targeted people with little means, he also gave visitors a bad impression of the Fraser Coast.

That was the view of Hervey Bay acting Magistrate Dennis Beutel, when Jack Samuel Rigbye fronted his court on 10 charges.

Mr Beutel placed Rigbye on two years probation and ordered him to pay restitution for the items he stole.

Rigbye, 22, stole three backpacks from a storage room at the Palace Backpackers Resort in Scarness in November, the court was told.

The bags contained clothing and camping gear, an iPod Nano and a hairdryer.

He was further charged with fraud after he stole a necklace from the resort and sold it to Cash Traders for $10.

Defence lawyer Michael Riedel said the stealing was opportunistic and the sheer number of charges had resulted because there were three different victims.

It was not a repeated or prolonged attack on backpackers, Mr Riedel said.

On November 14, Rigbye pulled a vending machine from outside the Foodworks supermarket at Scarness back to his home and smashed it open, the court heard.

He stole $18 in coins, which he later told police he used to buy food.

In court, he was ordered to pay $418 restitution to the supermarket for damaging the machine.

Also in November, Rigbye entered the home of a person he believed owed him money and stole a set of boxing gloves, swords and nunchakus.

Police searched Rigbye’s home and found stolen items along with three small cannabis plants and 10 seedlings.

He was charged with producing dangerous drugs.

Mr Riedel said Rigbye had fallen on hard times since he suffered a back injury and was no longer able to work.

He’d been prescribed a “cocktail” of medication but after his worker’s comp ran out, he could no longer afford the drugs.

Rigbye was struggling to make ends meet and resorted to stealing, Mr Riedel said.

The 22-year-old was ordered to pay a total of $668 restitution and was fined $800 for the drug offence.

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