Two tourists have been convicted of several charges relating to shoplifting as judge expressed concern at the rate at which tourists visit New Zealand's supermarkets to steal.
Both 25-year-old Jemma Lorraine Cammish, a British national, and 21-year-old Heden Raffen, a French national pleaded guilty to seven charges of shoplifting in court on Tuesday with Judge David Ruth tagging it a broader trend.
The judge said she is of the opinion that tourists feel they can easily steal things and go scot free in New Zealand. Police informed me of the epidemic rate at which foreign nationals, especially French nationals, engage in theft when visiting supermarkets, she said.
Raffen and Cammish repeatedly stole from two Blenheim supermarkets between January 13 and 24. On these different occasions, they stole luxury goods including chia seeds, kombucha, pate, and humus, which run into the excess of $200.
The stolen items were hidden in personal bags during shopping until the eighth attempt when store security caught them with $76 worth of stolen luxury goods.
Following their arrest, the tourists, as well as their lawyers, said they stole the goods out of desperation because the prices of food items were on the high side in the country, but Judge Ruth would not have any of this, saying the theft showed a premeditated pattern and the character of the products stolen does not imply desperation.
While the lawyer argued the nature of the items were due to dietary concerns, the judge tagged it nonsense.
Ruth stood her ground, despite all arguments to avoid convictions, and convicted them of all charges with each carrying a $200 fine.
The tourists said to be dating, entered New Zealand on work and holiday visas.
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