Generic photo of hand in money till cash register with coins and notes 21 Jul 2006.
Generic photo of hand in money till cash register with coins and notes 21 Jul 2006.

Stealing sushi worker caught red-handed

A WOMAN who was caught stealing from her Sushi making employer immediately handed over hundreds of dollars to cover the cost of the crime.

A very remorseful Sinae Choi, 27, appeared at Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to stealing while an employee of the complainant business.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Dave Shelton said Choi stole a total of $260 from her employer on several occasions between June 18 and June 26.

On June 27 the manager of Sushi on Augusta cafe made a complaint to Springfield police that money was being stolen from the till.

The manager’s mother, who owns the business, was counting the till and noticed the numbers did not add up.

She found a $20 note on the floor of the sushi kitchen then another $20 note near the drink fridge which she believed was highly unusual.

The owner requested the manager to review CCTV footage, which showed Choi walking toward the till then unplugging the monitor.

Choi was seen to remove two $20 notes, and a $10 note, hiding it in the front pocket of her apron.

On another day, she was recorded stealing a $50 note, and on the following day another $50 note.

More money was taken on another day, the prosecutor said.

Snr Const. Shelton said Choi initially denied stealing, but admitted it once she was told she had been caught on CCTV.

The court heard she withdrew $500 and gave it to the business owner, saying it should be enough to cover what she stole.

Choi’s lawyer said she had a degree in electrical engineering from her homeland of South Korea and came to Australia on a working holiday.

“She has extreme remorse and embarrassment for her conduct,” the lawyer said.

“There is no excuse but she instructs she was under pressure to return home following the death of a family member.”

A penalty with no conviction recorded was sought as Choi may apply for citizenship.

Magistrate David Shepherd said the offence was of concern in that it was a breach of trust but she immediately made financial restitution.

Choi was fined $500 with no conviction recorded.