Ex-cleaner’s bizarre mission to steal inflatable boat

A former cleaner was caught by police breaking lockdown at the height of the coronavirus pandemic with seven pocket knives and 23 sets of keys - all so she could steal an inflatable boat.

Maxine Lorraine Peck told police that seven knives were a "reasonable" number to have on her and she used them to cut cords and peel fruit.

The 54-year-old also claimed she had the keys to make a wind chime.

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Peck pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday to seven charges including possession of tainted property, failing to comply with a COVID-19 public health direction, unlawful possession of a vessel and possession of a weapon.

Magistrate Cameron McKenzie sentenced her to nine months probation and fined her $1334.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Reece Foort said a witness saw the about 2.5m inflatable tender being taken from a locked shed in Brighton Street, Biggera Waters just after midnight on April 22 this year.

It was the height of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown measures and the only reason people were to leave their home was for work or in an emergency.

When police arrived they saw Peck and another person staking the car.

"They said they found the vessel on the nature strip but they had difficulties explaining how they had the vehicle," he said.

Sen Sgt Foort said police searched her handbag and found seven pocket knives and a black extendible baton in her handbag.

"She said she used them to cut cords and peel apples and believed it was reasonable to have seven on them in her possession," he said.

Maxine Lorraine Peck (right) leaves Southport Magistrates Court with her lawyer Patricija Nedeljko, of Gatenby Criminal Lawyers.
Maxine Lorraine Peck (right) leaves Southport Magistrates Court with her lawyer Patricija Nedeljko, of Gatenby Criminal Lawyers.

Sgt Foort said police found 23 sets of keys in her handbag and car, all believed to belong to different dwellings.

"She stated she was collecting keys to create wind chimes," he said.

An ice pipe was also located in her bra.

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Sen Sgt Reece said Peck was unable to "give an essential reason for being out and about (during COVID restrictions) other than stealing the boat".

Defence solicitor Patricija Nedeljko, of Gatenby Criminal Lawyers, said Peck had used drugs but did not suffer an addiction.

She said the former houseboat cleaner was in a domestic violence relationship at the time of the theft.

Originally published as Ex-cleaner's bizarre mission to steal inflatable boat


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