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Filipina serial shoplifter jailed 6 weeks

17 April 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The thief looted 2 DS Groceries shops 6 times in 12 days

A jobless Filipina resident was jailed for a total of six weeks, each week representing one count of theft she committed in two branches of DS groceries over a 12-day period.

J. Espiritu, 44, a former bar worker, was also ordered to pay $4,273 to the grocery chain, the total amount of the goods she had taken, after she  pleaded guilty to six counts of theft in Eastern Court on Friday, Apr. 16.

Appearing before Magistrate Peter Law, Espiritu admitted the two sets of offenses, one comprising four shop thefts between Mar 22 and Apr 3, and another involving two counts of the same offense on Apr 1.

Court records show she went to the DS Groceries on the ground floor of Eastern Centre at 1065 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, at 7:30pm on Mar 22 and stole one pack of Melty Kiss chocolates and six bottlers of Nutella hazelnut spread with a total value of $426.


On Mar 28, around 9:45pm, she returned to the store and filled her bag with assorted chocolates, seven bottles of Nutella, three bottles of Cetaphil skin cleanser and two cans of sardines, with a total value of $1,548, then left without paying.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The shop manager noticed the chocolates were gone when he inspected the shelves before closing time. He reviewed the CCTV and saw Espiritu taking the goods and putting them into her bag.

Pindutin para sa detalye

In the second set of charges, Espiritu was accused of stealing from the DS Groceries shop in Causeway Road, Happy Valley on Apr 1. Her loot consisted of assorted chocolates and two cans of luncheon meat worth a total of $818.

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Earlier that day, at 3:08pm, she took 40 packs of Toblerone, five packs of M&M, one pack of US Pie chocolates and two cans of Libby’s sausage from the same store, with a total value of $1,042.  

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She was caught on Apr 3 after she returned to the Happy Valley store and took 23 packs of Cadbury and four packs of Melty Kiss chocolates valued at $531.

Unknown to her, the manager in the Quarry Bay store had gone to the Happy Valley branch that same day to view the CCTV footage there. He saw Espiritu, in the same clothes and same pair of shoes she wore during the Quarry Bay raid, in the act of shoplifting.

The manager went outside and waited. As soon as Espiritu went out, he stopped her and checked her bag. When he saw the stolen items he called the police, who arrested Espiritu.

The prosecutor said the defendant had three previous convictions for similar offenses.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong 

In mitigation, the defense lawyer said the defendant was a divorcee who lost her job in a bar and admitted stealing the chocolates to send to her son in the Philippines.

Magistrate Law ordered Espiritu to compensate Dai Sang Group International, owner of the store chain, for the unrecovered chocolates. Then he sentenced her to 7 days in prison, to be served consecutively for each of the six charges.


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