ACT News


Credit fraudster played wrong card

Serial thief James Craig's $110,000 stolen credit card spree was brought undone, in part, by a bizarre and polite gesture.

The veteran criminal with 360 convictions to his name splurged over the course of two weeks, making cash withdrawals and buying up big.

But one gesture helped police track him down - he left his fingerprints on a ''thank you'' card he handed over to an unsuspecting bank teller.

Craig, already serving a jail sentence, now faces years more behind bars after pleading guilty to 66 fraud charges.

ACT Supreme Court Justice John Burns on Wednesday jailed the recidivist for four years which, combined with his existing sentence, will see him eligible for parole in February 2016.

The 39-year-old was already on parole in October last year when he stole his unsuspecting victim's card from a Kingston letter box while the man was away overseas.


In a matter of weeks Craig bought three cars, motorbikes, sunglasses, junk food and a mobility scooter among other items.

In November last year, the parolee bought a $60 motorbike battery and gave his name only as ''Fluffy''.

Days earlier he went on a spending spree at Bunnings in Fyshwick, picking up occy straps, venetian blinds, a laundry hamper and a mop.

He spent $185 on car products on October 28, including five air fresheners and some decal stickers.

Earlier that month he bought two different cars; on November 1 he also bought the mobility scooter from a factory in Fisher.

Craig proceeded to splash out on gold car rims, a third car, nights in hotels, an NRMA roadside service, fizzy drinks, chocolate bars and a small swimming pool.

He also withdrew thousands from ATMs and tellers across the city.

In early November he handed over a silver ''thank you'' card to a Civic teller, who replied, ''Thank you, you're welcome''.

The teller would later hand the card over to police, who found Craig's fingerprints.

Several salespeople would also later identify Craig as the fraudster.

Justice Burns on Wednesday said Craig was a repeat offender with a long-standing drug abuse problem, and authorities assessed him as a high risk of reoffending.

The judge said the man's lengthy record, which largely included dishonesty offences, entitled him to no leniency.

Craig is already serving a 15-month jail term after he was convicted in May for a $1500 stolen credit card spree.