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Theft of 18 packs of chocolates leads to Filipina being fined $1,500

29 November 2023

 

The theft happened at the Wellcome store in this building

She may not have realized it then, but her foolhardy attempt to sneak out of a Wellcome supermarket with 18 packs of chocolate she didn’t pay for could have just cost a Filipina domestic helper her job.

She also ended up paying a fine that cost far more than the total value of the goods she had tried to shoplift. 

J.M. Munsayac pleaded guilty to one count of theft when she appeared before Magistrate Ivy Chui at Eastern Court earlier today, and was promptly ordered to pay a fine of  $1,500. As she had posted $500 for her bail, she needed to just pay the court the remaining $1,000 within the day.

PINDUTIN DITO!

The charge against her stemmed from her having been caught outside a Wellcome store in Pearl City Mansion in Causeway Bay on Oct 12 with the 18 packs of chocolate inside her shopping bag, and no receipt to show they had been paid for.

According to the agreed facts, a staff member of the grocery  store noticed Munsayac acting suspiciously at about 9am that day, so he followed her around. He subsequently saw her stuffing the chocolate packs inside her shopping bag, and then left without paying for them.

The staff member continued following Munsayac and as soon as she stepped out of the store at 9:21am she was stopped and searched.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

At the police station she admitted stealing the chocolates and said they were for her own consumption. CCTV footage taken inside the store also showed Munsayac taking the chocolates and then leaving without paying for them.

In mitigation, her lawyer asked for leniency, citing the defendant’s clear record and her decision to plead guilty at the earliest opportunity. He also pointed out that the grocery chain suffered no financial loss.

The magistrate said she took note of all of these mitigating factors before deciding to impose a financial penalty on the defendant.

BASAHIN ANG DETALYE

Munsayac is said to help support her elderly parents and three sisters back in the Philippines. Her employer has retained her even after learning about the shoplifting charge.

However, with a criminal record in her name, there is now doubt that the Immigration Department would allow her to process a new employment contract, as what happened in similar cases in the past.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE
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