A serial rest home thief went on a shopping spree after stealing bankcards and cash from an Upper Hutt rest home resident and a school principal, wracking up nearly $1000 in fraudulent purchases. Krystal Janet Marie Pearce​, 36, appeared at the Hutt Valley District Court on Wednesday in relation to two charges of burglary and two counts of taking, obtaining or using a document for pecuniary advantage. Court documents state she committed the burglaries at the Mercy Villas and St Joseph’s School on December 10, 2020 and then spent $994.62 in total, on grocery and tobacco items, later the same day using the bank cards’ Paywave function. She was due to be sentenced on Wednesday for the thefts, after pleading guilty at an earlier court hearing, but the matter was adjourned until October 12 so that she could finish an alcohol and drug treatment programme. Mercy Villas provides income-related rental accommodation for older people.The facility was an orphanage before being converted into a rest home for retired Catholic nuns from the order of the Sisters of Mercy in the 1980s. St Joseph’s School is a Catholic primary school. Pearce walked into the rest home through its main doors about 1.40pm and entered the bedroom of her first victim, the police summary of facts said. She took the elderly woman’s wallet, which contained $100 cash, her driver’s licence and bankcards, before heading to Burger King and making a purchase of $89.40 using the card. Over the next few hours, she made several trips to Countdown Maidstone on Russell St, in Upper Hutt and the nearby Caltex and Challenge Moonshine petrol stations to buy multiple packets of cigarettes and tobacco, $77.47 worth of 91 octane fuel, a blue V energy drink, a bottle of banana Primo flavoured milk, spearmint gum and Vodafone and Spark phone top up cards, using the bankcard’s Paywave function. About 7.50pm, Pearce walked into the school principal’s office through an unlocked door and removed his cellphone and brown wallet from his desk.

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