Perth ‘dine-and-dash’ thief Lois Loder jailed for two years after city-wide crime spree
Lois Loder’s crimes were motivated by her drug and alcohol addiction, her lawyer said. (ABC News: John Sambell)
Perth’s infamous “dine-and-dash” thief has been sentenced to two years behind bars for a brazen crime spree that included fleecing businesses out of thousands of dollars by running out without paying her bills.
- Lois Loder walked out of one Crawley restaurant without paying a bill of $763
- Her biggest fraud was at a city hair salon where she racked up a $1,180 bill
- She must spend 12 months in jail before becoming eligible for parole in August
Lois Loder, 45, pleaded guilty to 80 charges relating to offences committed between May 2017 and April 2018, when she was arrested.
Her arrest came after a Henley Brook restaurant posted CCTV footage of her and her partner leaving their business without settling a $290 food and drinks bill.
Loder appeared in court for sentencing via video link from Bandyup prison, where she has been held since she breached her bail in September last year.
Her two-year sentence was backdated to August 2018.
Loder will have to serve 12 months in prison before she is eligible for parole, meaning she could be released in August.
She was also fined $3,850 and ordered to pay $1,050 in costs.
Unpaid bills and stolen cards
Loder’s biggest fraud was committed on a city hair salon, where she spent five hours getting a colour and extensions.
She tried to pay the $1,180 bill with a stolen credit card and when that failed she left, telling staff she would come back to pay, but she never returned.
The Perth Magistrates Court was told Loder’s other victims included restaurants in East Perth, Floreat, Scarborough and East Victoria Park.
At the upmarket Zafferano restaurant in Crawley, she left without paying a bill of $763.
Zafferano Restaurant at Perth’s Old Swan Brewery was left hundreds of dollars out of pocket. (Supplied: Google Maps)
Loder also admitted possessing numerous credit cards that were not in her name, and confessed to a string of fraudulent transactions using stolen cards across much of August 2017.
The court heard Loder, who wiped away tears during the hearing, had a history of dishonesty offences that included being jailed for almost three years in 2013 and four more fraud offences in 2016.
A previous court hearing was told Loder had spent all her money, including an inheritance, on drugs and alcohol, and she now had no assets.
‘Grow up, take responsibility’: magistrate
Deputy Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Woods told the court while many of Loder’s offences only had “very small values”, they were serious because of “the volume and the planning”.
“This was brazen offending, it was planned, it was deceitful,” she said.
Ms Woods said the community had expressed outrage at some of the crimes, noting that in footage and photos of Loder that had appeared in the media, she appeared to be “flouting” the fact she had not paid her bills.
She said she had received a handwritten letter from Loder, in which the 45-year-old had expressed the desire to rehabilitate herself.
“At the end of the day, what you need to do is grow up, take responsibility, get this behind you and try to deal with the issues that have caused you problems over an extended period of time,” Ms Woods said.
Loder was caught on camera leaving restaurants across Perth without paying. (Facebook: Elmar’s in the Valley)
Loder remorseful: lawyer
Outside court, Loder’s lawyer David Manera said his client’s long standing addiction to drugs and alcohol had motivated the crimes.
“She’s also had issues with domestic violence throughout most of her life, she’s also had a number of bereavements in her life,” he said.
“None of this she has sought to [use to] excuse her behaviour, but that’s really just the context and the motivation for much of her offending.”
Mr Manera said his client was remorseful and hoped to soon be transferred to a pre-release centre where she could receive counselling.
“She appreciates and has told me she’s very much aware of the dozens and dozens of people’s lives she’s affected in varying ways,” he said.
Magistrate Woods said any assets Loder had were now gone and she was not in a position to make restitution or pay any compensation to her victims.