A former champion cross country runner who was double amputee reportedly 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 series of offenses and spent a night in custody after police raided her home in Canterbury in southwestern Sydney on Wednesday.
She has been charged with knowingly handling the proceeds of crime, knowingly handling the proceeds of crime with intent to conceal, and being armed with intent to steal.
Parramatta Bail Court learned that police reportedly discovered 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 pieces of clothing. Daily Telegram reported.
Police claim the seized property from Stewart’s home was worth more than $28,000 and was stolen from shops in southwestern Sydney.
Photos of the raid showrooms stacked high with boxes of items, including dozens of Harry Potter, Disney, and Star Wars Lego sets.
Eliza Jane Stewart (pictured) charged with knowingly handling the proceeds of crime, knowingly handling the proceeds of crime with intent to conceal, and being armed with intent to steal
Police seized more than 150 Lego sets from Stewart’s south-west Sydney home, including dozens of Star Wars sets
Police also allege that they seized tools used to remove security tags.
The court heard that Stewart allegedly admitted to police that she had used her disabled scooter to steal thousands of dollars worth of items from department stores.
She had both her legs amputated due to the lingering effects of anorexia, which she has struggled with for 20 years.
Stewart is also alleged to have confessed to advertising the items for sale as ‘brand new’ on social media before depositing the payments into her accounts.
The court also learned that Stewart reportedly had $250,000 in her accounts when she was arrested, but could not tell police how much came of her alleged activities.
Police will claim Stewart made $70,000 from online sales this year alone, according to bank account transactions.
“A physical check of the transactions of the accused’s Commonwealth bank accounts revealed that most of the money was believed to have been obtained illegally,” court documents said.
Eliza Stewart was a former champion runner before having her legs amputated due to an ongoing battle with anorexia. She is pictured competing in the 2007 Australian Athletics titles
“A significant portion of the transactions come from payments received into her account for purchases related to stolen items.
“These transactions are tagged and commented on in the transaction history, usually LEGO, Google Chrome, Google Home Mini.”
The court also heard that Stewart was given access to her bank accounts that were frozen by the NSW Crime Commission.
Her lawyer told the court that his client would receive a second prosthetic leg on Friday and will have to undergo eye surgery in the near future.
Stewart was released on bail on Thursday.
She can’t leave the house unless accompanied by her father or her NDIS caretaker and cannot use social media to sell goods online.
Stewart will appear in court again in November.
Double amputee Eliza Jane Stewart (pictured) gained access to her bank accounts frozen by the NSW Crime Commission
Police shared photos of a room piled high with Star Wars, Harry Potter and Disney Lego sets
Her arrest followed an extensive investigation by officers associated with the South West Police Transport Command 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 at the time was the best ever performance by an Australian woman in the event.
She was also a previous Sydney Morning Herald Women’s Half Marathon Champion.
“I’ve had to go through quite a bit of adversity to get to where I am today and while my resume may be lacking, I know I bring an immeasurable amount of insight and understanding of humanity’s need for connection and validation,” states her LinkedIn bio.
Stewart also recently opened up about her health struggles on social media.
‘I want to share some insights into the struggle people face when living with a disability, especially when the NDIS doesn’t support you; it’s honestly a tiring, lonely existence…one I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” she wrote.
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 the house unless accompanied by her father or NDIS caretaker