Shoplifter avoids jail sentence after a five-year break from his life of crime

JUSTICE: Ryan James Lang was charged with larceny and shoplifting on two separate dates, one in January and one in March.

JUSTICE: Ryan James Lang was charged with larceny and shoplifting on two separate dates, one in January and one in March.

A “LONE maverick” who was caught shoplifting was “quite remarkable” because he had managed to stay off police’s radar for five years, solicitor Gerard Stapleton said. 

Ryan James Lang was charged with larceny and shoplifting on two separate dates, one in January and one in March.

But Mr Stapleton argued in Orange Local Court his client had shown contrition because he had pleaded guilty. 

“The last offence of this nature was back in 2009, approximately five years ago, he’s managed to keep his head above water for that period of time,” Mr Stapleton said. 

He said his client has shown a great deal of self control because he was a “solitary man”. 

The 29-year-old of Garema Road is unemployed and on a disability support pension.

On Saturday, March 22, he walked into Harvey Norman and placed a set of sheets under his arm and walked out of the store. He was captured on CCTV camera.

Police caught up with him one-and-a-half kilometres away but he no longer had the sheets, worth $278. 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he told officers. 

Earlier this year on January 14, Lang walked into Dick Smith in Orange and put two boxes of headphones into green shopping bags.

He then fled the store.

Police patrolling Leura Road were unaware of the crime Lang had just committed.

But officers observed him shaking and he appeared nervous, police facts stated.

He told officers he had bought the two boxes of headphones, worth $408, from Harvey Norman but could not produce a receipt. 

Later that day, the theft was reported and police went to Lang’s house and arrested him.

The magistrate, Terry Lucas, said he accepted Lang’s guilty plea.

“That is why I am not sending you to jail,” he said.

He was fined $500 for each offence. 

His previous court appearances were for assault, drink-driving, shoplifting, larceny and possession of drugs. 

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