‘Gonna need a bigger jacket’ – Wollongong thief’s awkward plunder

A security camera has captured a man’s ultra-awkward getaway after he nicked a cumbersome display stand full of accessories from a Wollongong mobile phone shop. 

The recently upgraded camera was rolling as the man approached the Mobile Phone Hospital in Wollongong Central Sunday about 8.15am, a few minutes after doors to the complex opened. 

The resulting video shows the man pressing himself belly-down on the glass countertop in order to reach a display spindle laden with sale items. 

With the items – chargers, USB sticks, headphones – swinging free, and an awkward red ‘sale’ sign getting in the way, he attempts to hide the tree-like plunder under his jacket. 

He later removes his jacket, covers the display and makes off locked in awkward embrace with his loot. 

Store manager Matt Bremner estimated the stolen items were worth $400-$500.

He said he was “dumbfounded” when he viewed the security vision. 

“I thought, ‘how stupid could this guy be?’,” he said. 

“As if you’re going to walk away with this massive spindle under your arm and get away with it. It’s pretty brazen.” 

The store upgraded its surveillance technology earlier this year, after a different man stole a charity tin in similar circumstances, in May. 

The new system has its monitor on display, showing would-be thieves that they are being filmed. 

“I put it up on there every night before we leave,” Mr Bremner said. 

“I didn’t think anyone would steal again but it obviously doesn’t deter people these days. 

“He’ll probably take [the stolen items] to a pawn shop.”

The video has been posted to Facebook. Observers have likened the unwieldy haul to a newborn, and suggested the items may be on-sold “at the 7/11 out the front for some durries”. 

“It's a bit like the Jeep ad – he's gonna need a bigger jacket,” quipped one, Joanne Herbert. 

“I didn't know they were filming the new Mission Impossible movie here,” said another, Billy Katsanos. 

Others branded the thief “not the sharpest tool in shed” and questioned security standards at the shopping complex. 

A door to the complex is opened before the mobile phone store, in order for a nearby cafe to carry out early morning trade, Mr Bremner said. 

The matter has been reported to police. 

This story ‘Gonna need a bigger jacket’ – Wollongong thief’s awkward plunder first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.