Credit card thief racks up $6K bill in one day

A woman who embarked on a $6000 spending spree with a stolen credit card has purchased everything from a chainsaw to high-end clothes and jewellery.

The shopping jaunt also included a PlayStation 3, petrol and one night’s accommodation at Crown Promenade.

Norelle Chamberlain, of Ballan, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of obtaining property by deception in the Bacchus Marsh Magistrates Court on Friday.

Police prosecutor, Senior Constable Wilson said the accused had allegedly stolen the MasterCard from a fellow employee’s locker at an unknown business in Laverton on January 13, 2012.

The following day she used the credit card throughout Bacchus Marsh, Melton and Melbourne’s CBD in a number of different stores including Ozmosis, Kmart, Bunnings, Guess, French Connection and Calvin Klein.

Chamberlain was not only captured on CCTV, but had also signed a number of receipts using a mixture of her correct name and the name of the cardholder, the court heard.

Accumulating a bill of approximately $6,000, the accused was later arrested by police at her home in Ballan.

Chamberlain’s solicitor said the accused had been an “on and off heroin addict” for a period of five years, stating that the illegal shopping spree had occurred during a very dark time in her life.

She also noted that Chamberlain’s case was quite dated because of a term of imprisonment served in 2014 due to driving matters.

“A strong heroin addiction alongside a number of personal matters resulted in a downward spiral during that dark period of her life and she has definitely paid a personal price,” she said.

“However since being in jail she has made positive steps to turn her life around, including counselling.”

Chamberlain was acknowledged for her plea of guilty and current mental health status, and it was ordered she be assessed for a community corrections order.

First appeared in The Moorabool News, May 11 2015

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