1493702747078 - Backpacker learns the hard way after stealing from Warehouse

Backpacker learns the hard way after stealing from Warehouse

A German backpacker has realised it’s not as easy to steal from The Warehouse as other travellers might let on.

Jakob Lennart Poit​, 22, said he decided to shoplift from The Warehouse after hearing stories of other tourists doing the same.

He thought if others could do it, he could too.

“But I can’t, obviously.”

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Poit admitted a charge of shoplifting at the Blenheim District Court on Monday, representing himself.

A police summary of facts said he took several items, including a jacket, a pair of shoes and an energy drink about 1pm on April 29.

He put the items in his backpack and tried to leave the store without paying, but the alarm went off when he walked through the door.

Security stopped Poit who admitted stealing the items. He apologised and gave them back. They were worth about $190.48 in total.

He was a German backpacker travelling the country on a work visa, but had run out of money, he told the court.

Poit had hoped to find a job to pay for the rest of his travels, but struggled to find one, so he decided to steal supplies, he said.

He knew of other backpackers who had stolen items from The Warehouse, he said.

“I saw people doing this, or heard from people doing this, and I thought, ‘if anyone else can do it, and I need to do it, I could do it too’. But I can’t, obviously.”

Since being caught, he had spoken to his parents back in Germany, who had given him some money so he could continue his travels.

“I got some money so this will never happen again. And now I have a job, it will never happen again.

“Whatever punishment you think is fair, I do deserve it.”

Judge David Ruth convicted Poit and ordered him to come up for sentencing if called upon in the next six months.

That meant if he did not steal anything during that time, he would not be punished.

“But if you were to do something like this again in the next six months, you’ll be sentenced on this charge too,” Judge Ruth said.

“Stealing is an offence as much in New Zealand as anywhere else in the world.”

Police have previously spoken in court about tourists commenting on social media about how easy it is to steal from The Warehouse.

A police prosecutor commented on the rumour in March last year, when two Italian backpackers stole from The Warehouse, saying they did it because they ran out of money.

A spokeswoman from The Warehouse said the company took security “very seriously” and shoplifting did occur “from time to time”.

She would not comment on Poit’s claim that backpackers were targeting The Warehouse.

“We have a range of measures in place to deter and minimise shoplifting.”