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Pinoy fined $2,000 for picking up phone left behind in store

11 June 2019

Case was heard in Eastern Court

By Vir B. Lumicao
A Filipino waiter was fined $2,000 by an Eastern Court magistrate on Jun 10 after he pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing a mobile phone left by a customer in a convenience store in Sai Ying Pun.

J.M. 49, a Hong Kong resident living in Sai Ying Pun, admitted one count of theft before Magistrate Lam Tsz-kan.

The prosecution said Li Huirong, the owner of the iPhone 7 Plus, went to the Circle K convenience store on the evening of May 21 to buy some goods.
Li put down his phone on the counter as he paid for the goods at the cashier and left. When he returned two minutes later for his phone, it was gone.

He reported to the police and a review of the CCTV footage showed J.M. was the next customer. He entered the store, bought cigarettes, then handed his wallet to the cashier to pay for his purchase with an Octopus card.
When he took back his wallet, he also took the phone and left, the prosecution said. He was arrested shortly after and released on police bail.

The defense lawyer said J.M. had admitted the offense immediately, saying that he needed a phone.
The lawyer pleaded for a lenient sentence by way of a fine because the defendant had two sons aged 22 and 20 to support.

Lam ordered J.M. to pay a fine of $2,000.  

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