Mika owner Ivan Cortes and employee Cailin Walsh pleaded guilty to stealing after taking money from a woman's bag left near the restaurant.
Mika owner Ivan Cortes and employee Cailin Walsh pleaded guilty to stealing after taking money from a woman's bag left near the restaurant. PETER CARRUTHERS

Restaurant owner and employee involved in Airlie theft

THE owner of a Main Street restaurant along with one of his employees have been caught stealing hundreds of dollars from a woman's handbag.

Mika owner Luis Ivan Gutierrez Cortes, 40 from Cannonvale, with employee and backpacker Cailin Louise Walsh, 20 from Jubilee Pocket, were both involved in the theft.

Prosecutor Robert Beamish told Proserpine Magistrates Court the pair took $800 as well as more than $400 worth of Chinese currency from a bag left on the Airlie Esplanade on September 15.

Mr Beamish said Cortes had taken the money to 'spend on a drink after work', while Walsh planned to use it to help cover her rent.

The pair were caught out before the money could be spent, which Magistrate James Morton said was their 'saving grace'.

"You have no idea how lucky you were that the money wasn't spent," he said

"That's what has saved your bacon here."

Walsh and Cortes both pleaded guilty in court this week to stealing.

Mr Beamish said a woman had left her bag on a sign outside the restaurant about 9pm, before Walsh retrieved the bag and brought it inside to her employer, Cortes.

He said both went looking through the bag to find identification but, in the process, found the money as well and decided to keep it.

The victim came to collect her bag without the money in it, before later realising it had gone.

The court heard the money was returned at the time of police questioning.

Cortes was fined $300 with no conviction recorded while Walsh was fined $200 with no conviction recorded.