ONLY three out of five Orange retail assistants checked the signature on the back of the debit card Sean Hartigan had stolen and used during a shopping spree.
If workers at Big W, Woolworths and Liquorland had not checked to see if Hartigan’s signature matched that of the female owner of the card he may have got away with far more than $576.73.
Hartigan was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence in Orange Local Court, for the thefts which occurred on January 29.
If he commits a crime within the 12 months, he will go straight to jail.
His solicitor Rebecca McIlveen said his client was under the influence of “ice” or crystal methamphetamine when he committed the crimes and said Hartigan told her he would otherwise not have had the courage to commit the thefts.
She said since then, Hartigan had been clean from drugs and he and his wife had moved out of Orange to avoid temptation.
“He had a difficult life and he had to raise himself from the age of 12 ... he worked odd jobs and he ceased working full time about 12 months ago which saw him spiraling into this addiction,” she said.
“He hopes to go back into full time employment.”
Hartigan stole the card from a handbag in an unlocked car at around 11am and by 5pm that day he had been arrested and charged with one count of larceny and five counts of dishonesty to obtain financial advantage.
The 24-year-old used the card to buy cigarettes and phone credit from a service station and clothes from Myer, which he was wearing when he was arrested.
Police used CCTV footage from the shops to identify Hartigan and said he was fully cooperative.
“I took the card from the car and used it at Myer and the servo. I tried it at Liquorland and Big W but that’s it I swear,” he told officers.
He was also fined $900.