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Police found a virtual Aladdin’s cave when they searched a Christchurch house and found $69,340 of stolen gear.
The couple – Craig Raymond Spiers, 31, and Jacqueline Denise Sanott, 30 – faced sentencing in the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday on a combined total of 87 charges.
Spiers was jailed for six years, with a three-year non-parole term. Sanott, who has a child, was jailed for three years and six months by Judge Paul Kellar. Their offending had been driven by methamphetamine addiction.
The judge said Spiers had been providing a market for stolen goods, which encouraged theft. He was clearly closely connected to the actual thefts, because he was found with the goods very soon after the crimes.
The couple were unemployed at the time, but a police search on February 20 found their Vivian St, Burwood, house contained luxury items. The stolen property, was linked to burglaries and thefts where the goods taken had totalled at least $136,000.
Spiers admitted 29 charges of receiving stolen property, eight thefts, 19 fraud charges, several charges of unlawfully getting into a car, unlawfully opening postal articles, possession of instruments for forgery, driving while disqualified, and breach of prison release conditions.
Sanott admitted four receiving charges, theft of postal articles, 16 fraud charges, and possession of instruments for forgery.
The fraud charges mainly involved photographing both sides of bank cards and credit cards found in car break-ins, and then using the details to make purchases or transactions totalling $22,663.
The pair raided mailboxes across North Canterbury and were found with 1000 stolen documents when police raided their home. Boxes of opened and discarded bulk mail were found at parks and dump sides around Canterbury.
Police said: “The defendants drove around rural mailboxes in Rangiora, Oxford, West Melton and Lincoln stealing personal mail and courier packages from hundreds of complainants. They retained anything of value including vouchers, gift cards and items of property brought online.
“They opened envelopes containing bank statements, IRD information, bank cards, drivers’ licences, qualification certificates, invoices, passports, registration labels and personal letters.”
The stolen items found at their house included two vehicles and a trailer, musical equipment, a nail gun, power tools, laptop, iPod, office products, bowling balls, jewellery, passports, bank cards and a knee brace.
Notes found at the house showed the pair were collating information to obtain credit cards to commit identity theft. They had a magnetic card reader capable of re-coding credit cards.
Judge Kellar said there was no realistic prospect of reparation being paid. Hundreds of people had been harmed by the postal thefts.
Spiers’ prolific offending had affected a “vast number of people”.
Sanott had already completed two rehabilitation courses while in custody, the judge said.
Their sentences were reduced because of their guilty pleas.