Magistrate promises to 'smash' car thefts
BUNDABERG'S magistrate has handed down a harsh warning to car thieves, promising to "smash" the crime which is on the rise in the region.
Magistrate Deb Vasta made an example of car thief and burglar Robert Noel Fisher in Bundaberg Magistrates Court, sentencing him to two and a half years in jail for a five-day crime spree in which he stole a number of cars and broke into five homes.
"This sort of offence of breaking into people's houses and stealing their car keys and then their cars is really creeping into Bundaberg," Mrs Vasta said.
"It has become a game in this town and it will stop.
"This is creeping into the community and I have promised to smash this type of offence."
The court heard on Thursday Fisher had only been out of jail for a month when he broke into a home on February 9, stole a set if car keys and took off with the car.
"You were driving so recklessly that you drove it into a gutter," Mrs Vasta said.
"You then had the audacity to go back to the house and steal another set of keys and another car."
You then had the audacity to go back to the house and steal another set of keys and another car.
Fisher's bad behaviour continued over the coming days, breaking into several homes and stealing a number of cars, adding to his already lengthy criminal history.
"You have shown time and time again that you don't give a damn about anyone but yourself," Mrs Vasta said.
"You think it is your God-given right to go into people's homes and take whatever you want.
"I can only hope that some time in the next few years you decide that you are done with the revolving door of prison and want to give back to this community instead of this take, take, take."
Fisher, who has already been behind bars for 70 days, will be released on parole on October 17 this year, just shy of the usual one third parole mark to ensure he is not let back into the community during the holiday period when the parole office is not open as often and therefore unavailable to provide him with the required supervision and direction.
"I've had to make an example of you because there are so many young men in this town who seem to be breaking into these houses and stealing cars," Mrs Vasta said.
"The courts will smash people charged with this sort of offence and the reason the courts have to crack down is because it's becoming so common.
"It's been prevalent in Brisbane for some time but now it's slowly creeping into Bundaberg."