Online scammer Renae Fraser sentenced to jail for 167 days

A ​28-year-old woman who sold earth moving equipment she stole from a deceased estate at Mt Rowan has been jailed.

Renae Fraser was sentenced to 167 days in jail at Ballarat Magistrates Court on Friday after pleading guilty to 23 charges relating to theft, deception, driving and drug offences.

The court was told Fraser turned to online scamming to fund her drug habit, tricking people into buying items she advertised on an online classified site three times in 2016 and 2017.

On February 15, 2017, Fraser became aware of a bobcat and trailer at a deceased Mt Rowan estate. She advertised the bobcat for $3000 and the trailer for $2500 on a website. 

She sold the bobcat and trailer days later to two buyers who gave her cash. The bobcat buyer collected the machinery from the property along with a generic key Fraser had given him.

After her arrest, Fraser told police she spent the money on drugs.

In another incident on October 16, 2016, a victim responded to one of Fraser’s online advertisements for an 18 caret necklace.

He deposited $236 in Fraser’s bank account. Fraser then informed the victim she had more gold jewellery which he bought for $700.

After he deposited the money in her account, she stopped all contact with him.

The court was told police saw Fraser driving a blue Mazda sedan worth $5000 that was stolen from a Mitchell Park property on October 30, 2016. She pleaded guilty to the car theft.

Between August 13 and 14 this year, Fraser was linked to a number of burglaries in garages and car thefts around the Ballarat area. 

Defence lawyer Manny Brennan said Fraser’s offending started in 2015 after a relationship breakdown and she turned to ice.

He urged the court to consider a community corrections order combined with a short jail term. Mr Brennan said the mother of three was facing an unresolved blackmail offence in the County Court.

After reading a confidential report, magistrate Jonathan Klestadt sentenced Fraser to 167 days’ jail, which she has already served.