An Ipswich McDonald's staff member was caught taking money from her employee.
An Ipswich McDonald's staff member was caught taking money from her employee. Michaela O'Neill

Macca's burglar upsized with cash theft

MCDONALDS can't blame its iconic Hamburglar when its cash bags were looted by a nimble-fingered thief.

In a series of thefts from the fast-food's Macca's Ipswich store, CCTV footage identified the burglar to be an in-store offender.

The cash bags disappearing into her handbag.

When the culprit went before Ipswich Magistrates Court, financial pressure and a gambling addiction was blamed.

Natalie Kaye Ebert, 31, from Booval, pleaded guilty to stealing when working as a clerk and servant from McDonald's Ipswich between March 2 and April 8.

Prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said $2325 was taken in just over four weeks.

Ebert told the court she'd first been told it was $1400 - and "I paid it all back when I was dismissed".

Sgt Dick said police facts showed the amount taken was $2325 and that Ebert had repaid $1400.

He said the thefts were noticed when cash bags went missing.

This included cash bag amounts of $150 on March 3; $250 on March 7; $645 on March 17; $200 on March 25; and $500 on April 2.

Sgt Dick said CCTV footage on March 3 and March 7 showed Ebert putting the cash bags into her handbag.

Sgt Dick said Ebert made full admissions, saying the stealing was done due to financial stress as her partner had a gambling addiction.

Ebert would replace the cash before Armaguard arrived to collect the monies but she lost control of the amounts being taken.

Police sought restitution for McDonald's of the outstanding $925.

Ebert, who had no prior offending on her record, said she was remorseful for what happened and a relative had since taken control of her finances to help her catch up on bills.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum noted Ebert had repaid $1400 and the issue was the result of her partner's gambling problem.

Ms MacCallum inquired whether the partner was getting professional help with regard to gambling.

Finding the thefts to be a breach of trust of her employer, Ms MacCallum was also mindful of Ebert previous lack of offending and it was more of a need than greed offending.

Ms MacCallum did not record a conviction.

Ebert was fined $1000, sent to SPER for a repayment plan, and she was ordered to pay the restitution owed.