A handbag thief who stole an employee’s handbag from the Royal Hotel in July was arrested after he went back to the pub to return keys he’d found in the bag.
David Allen Gersbach, 33, of Cassey Crescent, threw the set of keys on the bar and said “sorry” at 2.30pm the day after taking the handbag.
The victim was working behind the bar and identified the keys, and, along with other employees, followed him onto Summer Street where they waved down a police superintendent who was nearby.
When he realised the police officer was following him Gersbach turned around and was quoted as saying, “yeah, I know what this is about, I stole a wallet yesterday”.
Although the keys were returned the bag and two bank keycards were not.
According to police, Gersbach was captured on the hotel’s CCTV cameras entering the hotel with another man at 1.28pm and was seen taking advantage of a brief moment when the bar was unattended to get behind the bar, find the handbag and put it inside his flannelette jacket before leaving.
It’s opportunistic, it’s behaviour that society won’t tolerate.Magistrate David Day
He was then captured on CCTV entering the male toilets of a nearby shopping centre where the handbag was later found and handed into centre management.
Gersbach represented himself in Orange Local Court where he was given a nine-month jail sentence with four-month non-parole period.
He was also given a supervised 12-month community correction order for stealing a pair of women’s size 10 jeans from a shop in Orange.
When questioned by magistrate David Day about the crimes he said “I think the Royal one was more serious because it was a lady’s personal belongings”.
“It’s opportunistic, it’s behaviour that society won’t tolerate,” Mr Day said.
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