Repeat thief warned of deportation risk

CAPTURED on CCTV stealing a woman's gold handbag in a nightclub, Sebastian Cufi and his brother also targeted a market stall worker in a bag snatch.

Cufi, a convicted thief, was warned by an Ipswich magistrate that if he continues offending he risks deportation.

Appearing in Ipswich Magistrates Court, Sebastian Cufi, 22, a welder from Redbank, pleaded guilty to two charges of stealing.

Prosecutor Sergeant Chris O'Neill told the court the first offence took place at a hotel in the Brisbane CBD on July 20, with the second stealing offence occurring at a market in Rocklea on August 10.

He said in the first offence a young woman put her handbag on a chair inside a club at 2.30am, only to realise it was missing a few minutes later.

CCTV footage showed a male picking up the handbag and walking away with it.

Sebastian Cufi leaves Ipswich Courthouse after admitting to two stealing charges.
Sebastian Cufi leaves Ipswich Courthouse after admitting to two stealing charges.

Cufi told police on August 21 that he had been so drunk that night he did not remember committing the offence.

When Cufi was shown the footage he claimed he could not remember what he had done with the bag.

Police sought $710 restitution for that offence as the stolen bag also held the woman's phone.

Sgt O'Neill said Cufi was with his brother at the Rocklea markets at 10pm when he noticed a female food stall worker put down her backpack, which held $1300, her mobile phone, keys and makeup.

CCTV showed two males arriving in a car and hanging around the stalls.

The court heard Cufi acted as a look out while the other male took the bag.

When located on August 21, Cufi told police his brother wanted to steal money from the food stalls and agreed that he acted as the look out for the offence.

"He said he didn't want to steal," said Sgt O'Neill.

"He said he drove to a park and that there was a fair bit of money inside, but he was not sure how much.

"He said his brother gave him $200 and he did not see the backpack again."

Police sought Cufi's half share of the restitution at $669.

When Magistrate Brian Kucks asked Cufi if he had anything to say about the offence, he responded: "Just something stupid I done."

Cufi told the magistrate he had lived in Australia 10 years.

Mr Kucks reminded Cufi that serving a jail term for criminal offences could put him at risk of deportation.

Mr Kucks noted that Cufi had been sentenced on July 12 for unlawfully dealing with shop goods; yet only days later he stole the woman's handbag.

"A few weeks later you and your brother were sniffing around at Rocklea markets to knock off money from stall keepers," he said.

Cufi was convicted and fined $750, and ordered to pay $1379 restitution.