Gambling Addict Stole Cars and Baby Formula to Fund Habit

  • Parkmore Coles employee investigated after it was discovered that inventory was missing
  • Funds from the stolen baby formula and cars used to play roulette at Crown Casino in Melbourne
  • Gambling addict must repay his former employer and complete a community corrections order
woman with cans of baby food in store
A 21-year-old has pleaded guilty to stealing between 300 and 500 tins of baby formula from his employer to fund his gambling habit. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Coles employee pleads guilty

A former supermarket employee has pleaded guilty to stealing up to 500 tins of baby formula to fund his gambling habit.

Aries Kim, a 21-year-old who was employed at Parkmore Coles in Keysborough, has admitted to stealing between 300 and 500 tins of baby formula worth AU$15k (US$10k) during a two-month period.

Kim sold the formula to the diagou before using the proceeds to play roulette at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. The gambling addict also stole two cars to raise funds as his addiction spiraled out of control.

Caught in the act

Managers at Parkmore Coles suspected Kim of wrongdoing after it was discovered that a considerable amount of inventory was missing. This led to an internal investigation being launched, with store managers installing hidden surveillance in the facility to catch the culprit in the act.

surveillance cameras caught Kim filling his bag with cans of formula hidden throughout the facility

Footage from these surveillance cameras caught Kim filling his bag with cans of formula hidden throughout the facility. Kim used areas like roof cavities to hide the formula. He would then return to the store to collect the tins in his uniform to try and avoid raising suspicion.

Eventually, police started watching Kim at his home. Officers saw him selling the products to others. To offload the formula, Kim used the daigou.

The term diagou is used to describe a form of cross-border exporting where an individual or group outside of China purchases items for customers in China.

Kim received payment for the formula and then used the funds to play roulette at the Crown Casino.

Stolen Goods

The Parkmore Coles store in question completed an audit to determine the number of formula cans stolen.

the value of the stolen goods ranged from AU$7,520 (US$5,000) to AU$15,000 (US$10,000)

A total of 1,766 cans were found to be missing from the store. Charges filed against Kim stated that between 300 and 500 tins were stolen between from February 1 through March. The court heard that the value of the stolen goods ranged from AU$7,520 (US$5,000) to AU$15,000 (US$10,000).

The elaborate baby formula scheme was not the only one that Kim used to find money for his gambling habit. He also stole two cars in online scams as his gambling addiction continued to snowball.

Seven charges

Kim pled guilty to seven theft and driving charges in court this week. Magistrate Jack Vandersteen presided over Kim’s case and stated the Coles employee knew what he was doing was wrong.

He has been ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work alongside an 18-month community corrections order. As part of the charges, Kim must repay Coles AU$7,500 (US$5,050). For driving without a supervisor or plates, being 20 years old at the time of the offence, he cannot drive for six months.