CBC News World
Mint worker gets booted to prison for walking away with coins
Last Updated Wed, 21 Jun 2006 10:51:47 EDT
An Australian mint worker was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for stealing 500 kilograms of coins over a 10-month period by hiding them in his boots and lunch box.
William Grzeskowiak, 48, pleaded guilty to stealing the coins, valued at more than $110,000.
Grzeskowiak began stealing from his country's national mint after an argument with his boss, court heard.
He would take the coins off the production line and put them into his pockets. Grzeskowiak would then transfer the coins — totalling just less than $500 a day — to his boots or lunch box in a bathroom stall.
Police recovered all but $4,000 of the coins in buckets and bags at Grzeskowiak's mother's garage.
He said he did not steal the money to spend it, but simply liked the challenge and enjoyed the sense of empowerment he felt by carrying out the crime.
Judge Terry Connolly slammed the mint's lack of security.
"I find it hard to believe that 150 coins could be concealed in each boot and a person could still walk through the security system," he told the court Wednesday.
Grzeskowiak was sentenced to a minimum of 18 months in prison before becoming eligible for parole. He was ordered to repay the missing money.