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Filipina avoids criminal record in theft case

23 January 2024


Fresh store in The Lohas.

A Filipina accused of shoplifting $125.7 worth of groceries, breathed a sigh of relief today after the prosecutor withdrew the charge at Kwun Tong Law Courts today, in return for her being bound over for 18 months.

I. Orpilla, 32 years old, agreed to the bind-over which would leave no criminal record on her stay in Hong Kong if she does not reoffend for 18 months, and paid the court’s costs of $300  ordered by Acting Principal Magistrate Winnie Lau.

Only if she reoffends will a fine of $1,200 be slapped on her, along with the penalty for the new offense, Magistrate Lau explained to her.


Orpilla was charged with stealing one bottle of mayonnaise, one pack of potato chips, one pack of tortilla chips and one bottle of floor cleaner on Nov. 12, 2023 at the Fresh grocery store in The Lohas, Lohas Park, Tseung Kwan O.

She said after leaving the court that she had forgotten to pay for the items because she was too preoccupied with personal problems.

She also thanked her employer for supporting her.


In West Kowloon court, Francess Faith Lacaba, 35, was set free with no bail after the hearing of her alleged theft of an Octopus card containing $70 in value, was adjourned for verdict on Feb. 21.

She had been held in jail since her arrest on the early morning of Nov. 23, 2023, when police officers found in her possession a personalized Octopus card in someone else’s name.

Lacaba had earlier pleaded guilty to overstaying, after her employer terminated her domestic worker contract on Sept. 24, 2023, five months after her arrival. She had been sleeping in parks around Sham Shui Po.

But she pleaded not guilty to theft, maintaining that she had just found the card on the sidewalk and was waiting for the MTR station to open so she could return it. The card was never used, its owner later confirmed.

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