He didn't want the cheap lawnmower.
That machine, while tempting at $399, was missing the fancy features of the expensive one, which at $849 was too much of a financial stretch.
But James Albertus French reckoned he had a solution.
He just needed a bit of lateral thinking, some old-fashioned heavy lifting and, to bring it all together, a bagful of dishonesty.
The Thurgoona removalist truck driver though was in too much of a hurry.
IN OTHER NEWS:
While he got through the Bunnings East Albury checkout undetected, he left an all-too-obvious clue behind.
Back in the mower section was a large cardboard box, for the more expensive Victa "Ultimate" 19-inch machine, replete with a push-button start and self-propelling mechanism.
It was natural for a staff member, puzzled by the open box in the middle of the aisle, to look inside.
And there sat the cheaper Victa 18-inch model
French, 47, of Thurgoona, has pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court to dishonestly obtaining property by deception and larceny.
"It's unusual in that he has no real explanation," said defence lawyer Jason Hanke, who pointed out how French was not under financial stress "and he doesn't have a history of dishonesty".
French and his partner went to the store on March 10.
After swapping the mowers, he went to the check-out and paid - though didn't declare a line trimmer and some chainsaw oil he put in the box.
A staff member checked his receipt on the way out and saw how only the mower was listed, so sent him back to pay.
On March 27, he stole a battery pack valued at $198 by using the same ploy.
French was convicted, fined $1100 and ordered to pay $648 compensation.
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