A ploy to falsely report his wallet stolen backfired on a Wodonga man when the police officers he asked to investigate the crime did their job a little too well.
Brett Sharp walked into the Wodonga Police Station on August 21, 2016 to report a theft.
He said his wallet, which contained $340 and his credit and ATM cards, had been stolen by his daughter’s boyfriend.
Inquiries with WAW Credit Union revealed Sharp’s card had been used 26 times since he said it had been stolen to check the balance and make cash withdrawals.
But when officers checked the security cameras on the ATMs, they saw it was Sharp using the card himself – and he was in possession of the wallet he claimed was stolen.
Sharp sent an email to police on August 23 saying the wallet had been returned so there was no need to prosecute.
He failed to show up to follow-up appointments organised with the officers.
Finally this week, more than two years later and on his 45th birthday, Sharp appeared in Wodonga Magistrates Court to plead guilty to making a false statement to police.
Victoria Police did not make an application for the costs of running the 2016 investigation into the stolen wallet.
Solicitor Mario Vaccaro said Sharp was a single father, with one of his two children living in his care.
“At this time of his life, there were a lot of financial pressures on him,” he said.
Magistrate Peter Dunn pushed for more of an explanation. “Why was he doing this? Didn’t he like his daughter’s partner?” he said.
“It’s fairly malicious.”
The questions could not be answered.
Mr Dunn sentenced Sharp to serve a community correction order and complete 100 hours of unpaid work.
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