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Store owner chases shoplifter

Owner of Rockhampton’s My Sister’s House, Nicole Gillespie, fell victim to an attack after she caught a woman stealing from her store.
Owner of Rockhampton’s My Sister’s House, Nicole Gillespie, fell victim to an attack after she caught a woman stealing from her store. Sharyn O'Neill

ALWAYS wear flat shoes to work.

That's the advice Nicole Gillespie is giving other Rockhampton business owners, after she chased down the woman who stole from her store earlier this year.

Jade Parks appeared before the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday, pleading guilty to two charges of stealing and one of common assault.

The 20-year-old and a co-offender stole $220 in jewellery from East St store My Sister's House about 1.45pm on April 10, the court heard.

Ms Gillespie was doing bookwork in a back office at the time, but when an employee told her of the incident she took matters into her own hands.

Ms Gillespie found the women in a nearby store and confronted Parks.

She returned the jewellery and Ms Gillespie asked the women to stay put while she called the police.

"When I came back they'd taken off," she said.

The court heard Ms Gillespie chased the women to a small arcade, where Parks then attacked her.

Parks growled at Ms Gillespie, before grabbing her throat and pulling her hair.

"I managed to push her down on the ground and then the police came," she said.

The court heard Parks had also stolen temporary tattoos from a Crazy Clarks store earlier that day.

Parks was fined $1000 and a conviction was recorded.

Ms Gillespie said she didn't regret her actions, but knew it was hard for business owners to confront shoplifters.

"Be on your guard and always report it," she said.

Topics:  assault, rockhampton, rockhampton magistrates court, shoplifter, stealing, store owner


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