Hungry thief locked up after stealing from Warrnambool supermarket

A tray of stolen steaks has landed a desperate meat thief in jail for seven days. 

James Pill, 33, of Warrnambool, hid the meat tray under his jumper as he left a supermarket on Saturday. 

Police were notified of the theft by a store manager who watched the man leave the premises without paying. 

Pill was later identified by police during a welfare check at a property on Raglan Parade. 

He appeared in Warrnambool Magistrate’s Court on Monday charged with theft and breach of bail. 

Police prosecutor Sergeant Sandy Skilton said police attempted to arrest the accused, who fled the property before being tackled to the ground. 

She said police were forced to use capsicum spray in order to restrain him. 

Pill was taken into custody on Sunday night. 

He told police he had stolen the steaks because he was hungry and only had $4 to his name at the time. 

Solicitor Belinda Northey said Pill was “extremely frustrated” on the day of his arrest because his belongings had been stolen from a friend’s house. 

She said the accused was in a constant cycle of crime, homelessness and drug addiction, with previous offending leading him to be imprisoned and released with "no support". 

“He was previously released [from custody] with nothing but a myki card and $14 to his name,” Ms Northey said. 

Sergeant Skilton said police believed the accused was drug affected at the time of the offending and that there were concerns about his unstable living situation. 

Magistrate John Lesser said he was sympathetic to Pill's lack of support and sentenced him to seven days in prison, with one day served.