Test drive car thief avoids road to jail

Pierra WillixSound Telegraph
Rockingham Court.
Camera IconRockingham Court. Credit: WA News

A man who stole a car while taking a test drive with its owner and told police “he didn’t think the owner would report it stolen” has been given a suspended jail sentence.

The man appeared in Rockingham Magistrate’s Court via video link from Hakea Prison last week, charged with a string of offences, which included three counts of stealing motor vehicles, two counts of trespass and of breaching bail.

The 28-year-old was also charged with possession of cannabis, methylamphetamine and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The court was told between July 19 and July 21, 2017, he was in the possession of a Honda Accord which had been stolen days before

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On October 29 he went to a home in Golden Bay after organising to buy a Holden Commodore.

He asked the owner to go for a test drive and while the men were driving, the man said he was thirsty and asked the owner of the car to get some drinks.

While the owner was inside a shop, the man drove off and, when questioned by police two days later, said that he “didn’t expect the owner to report it stolen”.

Between November 5 and November 9, 2017, a burglary took place at an address in Waikiki where two Honda motorcycles were stolen.

On December 23, 2017 the son of the motorbike’s owner saw the accused driving one in Shoalwater and, when confronted, he fled the scene.

The man also faced charges of possessing 0.2 grams of meth and 2.6 grams of cannabis when he was the passenger in a car pulled over by police in December 2017 and of trespassing when he was caught squatting at a home in Rockingham. In court, his lawyer linked the offending to drug use.

The prosecutor said if a suspended imprisonment order was imposed, it could be his “last chance” to address his offending.

He was fined $2000 and was sentenced to seven months jail, suspended for 12 months.

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