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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Wardell man wanted on multiple paypass fraud charges

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A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Wardell man who allegedly stole a car and a Visa card before going on a spree of fraudulent paypass purchases at Bangalow and Clunes.

James Carlson did not appear in Lismore Local Court on Monday so Magistrate David Heilpern issued a warrant for his arrest.

When he failed to appear in court on July 18, Mr Heilpern marked his court papers ‘deft must be in attendance’ or warrant to issue.

Mr Carlson, 25, has previously entered guilty pleas to 14 charges including take and drive conveyance, larceny and 12 counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception.

It is alleged between March 28 and March 30, Mr Carlson stole an Audi stationwagon from the driveway of an Alstonville home after claiming he found the keys in the ignition,

On March 31, it is alleged he drove the Audi to Byron Bay and found a silver BMW X5 unlocked and stole a wallet from the vehicle containing a man’s VISA card.

After trying unsuccessfully to use the card to withdraw money at Summerland Credit Union, Byron Bay, it is alleged he went to Bangalow and began the 12 paypass transactions.

In one day, it is alleged Mr Carlson spent amounts of $60 and $91.60 at Foodworks Bangalow.

He then allegedly made purchases of $70.90 and $36.97, at Solways Fuelstop Bangalow, before he moved onto Bangalow Fuel Supplies.

There he is alleged to have made purchases totalling $29.03, $42.80, $92.60, and $9.28 before he drove the allegedly stolen Audi to Clunes.

At Clunes Auto Centre, Mr Carlson allegedly made purchases totalling $10.50, $4.80, $28.50 and $20.

Then he allegedly drove the Audi about 5km east of Clunes, where police found the car dumped in floodwater.

Police facts before the court stated Mr Carlson committed the crimes to feed his drug habit.

‘The accused has been on an extensive drug fuelled crime spree in the richmond and Tweed Byron LAC’s over the past several weeks,’ police facts stated.

Under section 25(2) of the Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act of 1999, on Monday, Mr Heilpern issued a warrant for Mr Carlson to be brought before the court.

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