A former champion cross country runner turned double amputee allegedly made more than $100,000 selling stolen items, including Lego, electronic devices, clothing and designer sunglasses on Facebook Marketplace, a court has heard.
Eliza Jane Stewart, 35, was charged with a string of offences and spent a night in custody after police raided her Canterbury home in Sydney’s southwest on Wednesday.
She has been charged with knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime, knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime intending to conceal, and being armed with intent to steal.
Parramatta Bail Court heard police allegedly uncovered a treasure trove of stolen goods throughout her home, including more than 150 Lego sets, 33 Google Chromecast devices, nine sets of designer sunglasses and 50 items of clothing, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Police allege the property seized from Stewart’s home was worth more than $28,000 and stolen from retail stores across Sydney’s southwest.
Photos from the raid show rooms stacked high with boxes of items, including dozens of Harry Potter, Disney and Star Wars Lego sets.
Eliza Jane Stewart (pictured) charged with knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime, knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime intending to conceal, and being armed with intent to steal
Police seized more than 150 Lego sets from Stewart’s home in Sydney’s southwest, including dozens of Star Wars sets
Police also allege they seized implements used for the removal of security tags.
The court heard Stewart allegedly admitted to police she used her disability scooter to steal thousands of dollars worth of items from department stores.
She had both her legs amputated due to ongoing effects of anorexia, which she has battled with for 20 years.
Stewart also allegedly confessed to advertising the items for sale as ‘brand new’ on social media before depositing the payments into her accounts.
The court also heard Stewart allegedly had $250,000 in her accounts when she was arrested but was unable to tell police how much came from her alleged activities.
Police will allege Stewart has made $70,000 from online sales this year alone, according to bank account transactions.
‘A physical review of the transactions of the accused’s Commonwealth Bank accounts revealed most of the funds are believed to be illicitly gained,’ court documents stated.
Eliza Stewart was former champion runner before her legs were amputated due to an ongoing battle with anorexia. She’s pictured competing at the 2007 Australian athletics titles
‘A significant quantity of the transactions are from payments received into her account for purchases relating to stolen items.
‘These transactions are labelled and commented in the transaction history, typically being LEGO, Google Chrome, Google Home Mini.’
The court also heard Stewart has had access to her banks accounts frozen by NSW Crime Commission.
Her lawyer told the court his client was due to have a second prosthetic leg fixed on Friday and requires eye surgery in the near future.
Stewart was granted bail on Thursday.
She cannot leave home unless accompanied by her father or her NDIS carer and can’t use social media to sell goods online.
Stewart will reappear in court in November.
Double amputee Eliza Jane Stewart (pictured) has had access to her banks accounts frozen by NSW Crime Commission
Police shared photos of one room piled high with Star Wars, Harry Potter and Disney Lego sets
Her arrest followed extensive inquiries by officers attached to the Police Transport Command South West’s Proactive Crime Team
Stewart is a former marathon runner who represented Australia at the World University Cross-Country Championships in 2008 and 2010.
She finished fourth in 2008 which was the best ever performance by an Australian woman in the event at the time.
She was also a previous Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon women’s champion.
‘I have battled my fair share of adversity to get where I am today and while my CV may be lacking I know that I bring an immeasurable amount of insight and understanding in humanity’s need for connection and validation,’ her LinkedIn bio states.
Stewart also recently opened up about her health battles on social media.
‘I want to share a few insights into the struggles people face living with a disability, especially when the NDIS fails to support you; it’s honestly an exhausting, lonely existence…one which I would not wish upon anyone,’ she posted.
Police also allegedly found dozens of Google Chromecast devices (pictured), nine sets of designer sunglasses and 50 items of clothing
Eliza Stewart (pictured) cannot leave home unless accompanied by her father or NDIS carer