Thief did runner to Switzerland

Source: Maitland Mercury

A Woolworths’ cashier who boarded a one-way flight to Switzerland after stealing $2750 from a NSW store has been told to return to the country.

Eighteen-year-old Samir Kendall El-Khodr, who is stole the cash from the East Maitland store, went against the advice of his solicitor who warned him before his flight that the magistrate was unlikely to sentence him in his absence. 

El-Khodr’s solicitor was in court yesterday without her client, who contacted her from France. 

El-Khodr, whose registered address is Wilsons Creek, Mullumbimby, wanted to pay back the money in full but magistrate John Chicken said the amount was too substantial. 

He pleaded guilty to all 15 charges of stealing property as a servant at East Maitland Woolworths in October and November this year. 

The court heard El-Khodr had worked at the store for about 12 months when he was transferred to the liquor department. 

It was there that CCTV footage captured him pretending to scan high-priced bottles of alcohol, among them a $120 bottle of Moet. 

He committed the first offence on October 8, about 8.40pm, when he served a man, scanned $190 in goods which he bagged and cancelled on the register. The man left with the alcohol before paying for a packet of cigarettes. 

On November 19, $459.99 in goods were stolen, when El-Khodr scanned a $50 bottle of liquor, $90 bottle of champagne, $94 bottle of Jack Daniels, $100 bottle of Johnny Walker and $126 bottle of Moet. The alcohol was bagged and cancelled and the customer left with the goods, paying only for a $17 packet of cigarettes. 

The CCTV footage corroborated transaction records from El-Khodr’s unique cash register login. 

Mr Chicken said El-Khodr needed to return to Australia. 

The matter was adjourned until February 18.