The entirely predictable buys during a thief's 28-hour Paywave spree

A West Wollongong man who went on a spending spree with a stolen credit card racked up a $1540 bill in less than 36 hours.

The owner of the Great Bank Visa debit card told police she lost the card sometime between 6.30pm on December 21 and 7.05am the next morning.

By the time she discovered the loss on the afternoon of December 23, Andrew Rodney Cunningham had used the card to buy tobacco, alcohol, fast food and petrol (see the full list below).

Documents tendered to Wollongong court did not reveal how Cunningham came to have the card, but said his first fraudulent purchase occurred at 7.05am on December 22 when he bought $25 worth of tobacco from the Crown Street Mall 7-Eleven.

The last transaction police were able to prove was $14 spent on two pairs of sunglasses at Crown Street's L & R Great Value at 11.49am on December 23.

Using the intervening transactions on the card, police were able to put together a virtual connect-the-dots style picture of Cunningham's movements throughout the next 33 hours

Saturday, December 22

  • 7.05am: 7-Eleven Crown Street Mall. Tobacco, $25.
  • 7.16am: Woolworths Burelli St. Cigarettes, $34.95.
  • 7.23am: Downtown Newsagency. Drink, $3
  • 7.53am: Wollongong Central Coles. Tobacco, $39.50
  • 8.19am: 7-Eleven (opp hospital). Tobacco, Illawarra Mercury newspaper, $28.39.
  • 8.39am: Woolworths Petrol, Crown St. Tobacco, Mars Bar, $50.50.
  • 9.45am: Figtree Cellars.Jim Beam, $60.
  • 9.49am: Liquorland Figtree Grove. Captain Morgan rum, Jack Daniels, $89.
  • 10am: 7-Eleven Unanderra. Rebel Sport gift card and tobacco, $75.
  • 10.11am: BWS Unanderra. Johnny Walker Platinum Scotch, $95.
  • 10.22am: BWS Dapto. Nelson County Bourbon 10 packs, $31.
  • 10.34am: KFC Unanderra. Food, $27.45
  • 5.49pm: Dominos Wollongong. Pizza, $18
  • 7.02pm: Wollongong Central Coles. Pre-paid mobile, $79.
  • 7.25pm: Caltex Wollongong. Frozen coke, $3.70.
  • 10.17pm: Esen Kebabs. Kebab, $13.
  • 11.53pm: 7-Eleven (opp hospital). Two Rebel sport gift vouchers, Australian Motorcycle Magazine, $68.95.

Sunday, December 23

  • 12.09am: McDonalds Fairy Meadow. Food, $17.55
  • 12.15am: BP, Fairy Meadow. Fuel, Mars Bars, $44.45.
  • 3.02am: McDonalds Fairy Meadow. Food, $27.
  • 11.20am: Woolworths Burelli St. Satay kebabs, Coke, $10.90.
  • 11.49am: L & R Great Value, Wollongong. Two pairs of sunglasses, $14.

Police say the card was used a further eight times but they could not uncover video evidence linking Cunningham to those purchases.

Meanwhile, Cunningham was arrested in mid-January and charged with 24 counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception.

The 38-year-old pleaded guilty to the charges during a recent court appearance.

The case was adjourned to July 30 for sentencing.