13 September 2023

Thief who helped steal $60,000 from Apple store in 'dumb' burglary avoids jail

| Albert McKnight

Harrison Frank Clissold was half an hour late for his sentencing on Monday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A young thief who helped steal over $60,000 worth of iPhones and headphones from an Apple store admitted his actions were “dumb”, a court heard before he avoided being sent to jail.

Harrison Frank Clissold, 19, arrived half an hour late for his sentencing in the ACT Supreme Court on Monday (11 September) after previously pleading guilty to charges of burglary and theft.

In the early hours of 19 January 2022, his co-offender used a claw hammer to break into the Canberra Centre and then into the Apple store but fled when he triggered an alarm.

He returned to the store with Clissold at about 4:30 am and broke into the back storeroom.

Inside, the pair filled bags with 29 iPhones, nine AirPods and 10 Beats headphones.

They were confronted by a security guard when leaving and fled, dropping one of their bags as they did so.

READ ALSO Alleged knife-attack nearly severed man’s finger, among other wounds

It has previously been revealed that the co-offender was arrested that day and months later was recorded from custody speaking over the phone with Clissold, using Pig Latin as a code.

For instance, at one stage, the co-offender asked, “Yeah, so what’s happening with the ial-ay tr-ay [trial]?”

“They say there’s DNA and like fingerprints and all that on like some of the handles in the Apple store and s-t,” Clissold said during the conversation.

Justice Belinda Baker said the total value of the stolen items was $60,791, but it was unclear if this amount included the items from the dropped bag.

She also said there was no evidence that the other items had been recovered, nor that Clissold had repaid the store for the losses it incurred.

man in black shirt outside court

Harrison Frank Clissold was handed an intensive corrections order. Photo: Supplied.

She said the author of a court report had said he’d engaged poorly with Corrective Services while preparing the report, as he had been obstructive during the process and defensive and vague when giving answers.

He also denied having issues with alcohol to the author, although he admitted he’d drunk “quite a bit” before the burglary.

Justice Baker said his motivation for the offending was “quite opaque”, although she said the offending was deliberate.

READ ALSO Alleged hammer-wielding man accused of five-hour siege after using ’20 bongs’

In a letter to the court, Clissold said he’d taken full responsibility for the offences.

“What I did was dumb and I regret my actions,” he said.

“At the time, I made some stupid decisions.”

Justice Baker said he had accepted responsibility, had reasonable prospects of rehabilitation and his role in the offending was less serious than the co-offender’s.

She also said he had ADHD, worked as a scaffolder and had the support of his parents. There was also no evidence he “flaunted” the stolen goods, as his co-offender had done.

Clissold, who is from Gungahlin, was sentenced to an 18-month intensive corrections order, a community-based sentence, and 20 hours of community service.

The co-offender, who was under 18 at the time and cannot be named, has already been given a jail sentence.

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