A man impersonated an adidas employee and confiscated more than 100 baseball caps because he was stopping "the Chinese from ripping us off."
Earl Forrester Hilton, 51, was sentenced in the Whangarei District Court this week after admitting he obtained goods worth more than $1000 by deception.
Judge John McDonald sentenced Hilton - who has 123 previous convictions - to home detention.
Hilton also claimed to be a "Hare Krishna priest" but Judge McDonald told him he doubted the religious organisation condoned dishonesty.
Last March, Hilton had gone to Coin Save in Matamata and after walking around, approached the store manager. He told the manager that he was an adidas employee, paid to visit stores and check on products. Hilton said he would have to remove all adidas products as the store was not allowed to sell them.
When asked for an identification, he gave his driver's licence which the store manager photocopied.
Both men then signed a receipt for 70 caps, which Hilton signed as "Earl Hilton on behalf of adidas."
The manager handed over the hats, each with a retail value of $25.
Police were notified and an adidas national sales manager confirmed that Hilton was not on staff.
Hilton was interviewed at Whangarei Police Station in June 2012 and took 106 hats with him, saying they were the ones he took.
Judge McDonald said Hilton admitted to taking the hats, claiming it was for copying Maori designs and to "stop the Chinese ripping us off."
The hats were seized as it could not be established if they were the same ones he took from the Matamata store.