Man not 'mastermind' behind bobcat and boat theft
A MAN who used his tilt-tray to assist another man in stealing a boat and bobcat from a Burnett Heads property has been ordered to complete 75 hours of community service.
Gregory James Prince, 52, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to two counts of enter premises and commit indictable offence by break.
The court was told Prince and a co-offender had twice entered a Burnett Heads property without permission, and made off with several items stored inside.
On the first occasion on June 1 about 12.30am, the pair removed the locks from a large shipping container on a private property.
The pair loaded up a bobcat, ladder and two push bikes onto Prince's tilt-tray.
Three days later, the pair returned at 10.30am and loaded an aluminium boat on the tilt-tray.
Witnesses alerted police and both Prince and the co-offender offered excuses.
But Prince maintained he thought he had been genuinely hired by the co-offender, not to assist in a theft.
"He (Prince) said he owns a tow-truck business and had been hired by (the co-offender) as part of a clear-out of a property, but this was not the case,” Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said.
"He broke into the shipping container, stole a bobcat ... days later he went back and did it again.
"It is probably stupidity more than anything.”
Defence lawyer Ryan Dwyer said Prince just "did what he was told” by the co-offender.
Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan agreed the operation wasn't Prince's "brain child”.
"I accept he wasn't the mastermind, but to return to the property days later and do it again ... it is a serious offence,” Ms Hartigan said.
"You were asked to become involved (but) you are otherwise a good member of the community.”
Prince was ordered to complete 75 hours of unpaid community service.
A conviction was recorded.