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Man gets banned from every Bunnings store after elaborate scam goes wrong

Man gets banned from every Bunnings store after elaborate scam goes wrong

A man has been banned from Bunnings stores across the country for attempting to steal $1300 worth of product and threatening to stab a manager with a syringe.

Thief Christopher John Richards was handed a prohibition letter at Bunnings in Balcatta in August 2018, warning him he was not permitted to go anywhere near any of the hardware stores in Western Australia.

The next day Richards stole a pair of Ray Bans from a Sunglass Hut before returning to the same Bunnings, The West Australian said.

The thief picked up a used receipt he found outside the store and filled a trolley with the same items as well as some other items.

Bunbury Magistrate's Court heard in court last week the elaborate scam the man had been using.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Karl Rep told the court Richards was approached by a store manager and claimed to have a syringe with him.

He took a boxing stance, swore at staff and said “‘if you don't back off I'm going to stab you with a needle’,” Sgt Rep said.

Richards then swiftly grabbed some pebbles and threw them at the store manager before heading to the exit.

He showed the receipt to checkout staff and walked out of Bunnings with the stolen goods, but was tracked down by police and taken into custody.

Richards tuned into court through a video link while he sits in Hakea Prison - which is where he has been since he was arrested last October.

He pleaded guilty to scene charges, including pretending to be armed in a way that may cause fear, threats to injure, endanger or harming any person, three charges of stealing and two trespassing charges.

“These offences are serious and call for imprisonment,” Sgt Rep told the court.

Magistrate Michelle Pontifex handed down a sentence of eight months and 15 days, but took into account that he had already spent a substantial amount of time behind bars since he was arrested for his offence.

Richard will be released from prison in the coming day.

“This type of offending is unacceptable, you simply cannot go around doing that,” Ms Pontifex told Richards.

She said Richards' offending was “brazen” but accepted his guilty plea and demanded he repay Bunnings $1,390 for the stolen goods he attempted to take.