A Masterton man was fined $150 on Thursday for receiving a handbag stolen from a briefly unattended car.
John Samuel Leslie, 21, pleaded guilty to receiving the handbag on October 5.
Prosecutor Sergeant Garry Wilson said about 2.45am that day a woman had stopped her car in the street outside a Masterton address. She had "left the vehicle for two minutes to see if her friend was home".
When the woman emerged, she noticed Leslie and a group of others standing by her car, and then saw that her handbag was missing. She tried to speak to them but they laughed and went inside a nearby house.
Police were called and found Leslie going through the contents of the handbag, which included a wallet.
He told police a friend had given him the handbag.
Judge Tom Broadmore said the incident was an "insolent piece of behaviour" and the group "knew full well what they were doing" and had treated the situation as a joke.
"It's not a joke as far as Mr Leslie is concerned; it's going to cost him $150."