Stealing two batteries worth $7.50 cost a would-be fire station officer thousands at Eastern Court yesterday. Magistrate John Brennan found Tang Chi-ming, 27, guilty of a charge of theft and fined him $2,000. Tang, a probational fire station officer, was also ordered to pay $2,500 costs. The court heard Tang went to a shop at Taikoo Shing on June 14. A plainclothes security guard saw him open an eight-battery pack and put two batteries into his pocket. Tang then went to the cashier to pay for a packet of bubble gum but not the batteries in his pocket, the court was told. The defendant denied the charge and said he was framed by the security guard. Tang said he did have two batteries in his pocket but they were both used. He claimed the guard took away the old batteries and put the new ones in his pocket. Mr Brennan said Tang intended to tarnish the name of the guard as he found the latter a truthful witness. He said the probational fire officer had plotted the crime because he chose to steal from somewhere where neither a close-circuit television nor a security mirror was installed.