5 Filipinas jailed for grocery theft

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The Eastern Court in Sai Wan Ho

Five Filipinas were sentenced to jail on Thursday after they admitted to stealing food and beverage items in various grocery stores across North Point several times between January to February this year.

E. Gagni, L. Retrita, M. C. Novo, V. Moradalla, and L. Figueroa pleaded guilty to theft charges read aloud before Magistrate Peter Law at the Eastern Courts.

All but Figueroa were accused of stealing 32 packs of chocolate from DS Groceries in Wing Wah Building along Electric Road on Feb. 8.

Moradalla was charged with taking three cans of abalone from Best Mart 360 in Fat Cheung Building on Feb. 4. Retrita and Figueroa were accused of stealing six bottles of wine from the same shop on Jan. 22.

Figueroa was also charged with stealing four bottles of hazelnut spread from Chi Kee Wholesales along Tong Shui Road on Feb. 10.

They were identified and arrested during police anti-crime patrol operations after the three shops involved had CCTV footage capturing the offences.

In mitigation, their defense lawyer said their guilty plea shows remorse.

Law imposed the sentences per charge on each Filipina and ordered these to be served consecutively.

Gagni and Novo were sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment. Figueroa will serve a total of 10 weeks in prison, Moradalla will serve 12 weeks, and a 16-week jail term was imposed on Retrita.

Moradalla was also charged with remaining in Hong Kong without the approval of immigration authorities, after having landed illegally.

The hearing on her case was adjourned to June 7 for legal advice.