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German model fined $5k for taking stuff a Pinay had left behind

22 May 2018

Court rules theft includes taking things
that are left behind

A female German model was fined $5,000 by an Eastern Court magistrate after she pleaded guilty to a charge of theft for taking a paper bag with two electrical appliances that a Filipina had left behind in a bakeshop in Causeway Bay.

A remorseful Melina Budde, 20, apologized for the offense after she was convicted on May 18 by Magistrate Peter Law. She went to court without a lawyer to represent her.

The prosecution said police arrested Budde on Apr 20 after CCTV footage of the Fusion Bakeshop in Park N Shop at Leighton Centre showed her making off with the bag, which contained a Panasonic cooker and Tefal hair straightener.

The investigators reviewed other CCTV footages in the area until they traced where  Budde was staying. They went to the place and found the defendant as well as the missing appliances there.

The owner of the appliances, Cristina  M. Escalona, told the police that she forgot about the bag after buying some stuff at the bakeshop at around 7am on Apr 18.

When the Filipina returned to the shop shortly afterwards to retrieve the bag, it was already gone, prompting her to report to the police.

Law imposed a fine of $5,000 as a sentence and ordered Budde to pay up within a week. She said she did not have that amount but would ask her parents to send her money.

Budde said she was due to fly out of Hong Kong on June 30, so, Law warned her she would be in deep trouble if she left without settling her fine. – Vir B. Lumicao

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