Rural firefighter.
Rural firefighter. David Nielsen

Thief who stole from rural fireys in court

A BUNDABERG man with some very sticky fingers has been sentenced to 100 hours of community services after police found his secret stash of stolen items after executing a search warrant at his home.

Between April 21 and May 6, Joel Nicholas Wright, 19 stole hundreds-of-dollars worth of items from a Gin Gin house, a Queensland Rural Fire Service shed, a Wallaville pub and a person's mailbox.

He appeared for all the offences in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Friday, where he pleaded guilty to entering a dwelling and stealing items, four counts of receiving tainted property, and possessing drugs and pipes.

The first offence in time happened at a house on Mulgrave St, Gin Gin.

There, Wright and co-offendors gained access to a vacant but furnished house, from which they stole multiple pieces of furniture.

Police spoke to the daughter of the homeowners after the theft, who told them the group had not been given permission to enter nor take anything from the furnished property.

During their investigations, officers found a fingerprint matching Wright on the home's stove-top.

On May 26, Wright stole an entire mailbox from someone's front lawn and then, between May 28 and May 31, he struck again, this time at the rural fire service shed at Gin Gin.

The court heard a window was broken to gain access to the inside of that building.

There, several items were stolen including a radio, a projector, and a Samsung tablet.

Then, on May 31 about 12.30, a drunk Wright stole cigarettes, cash and bottles of alcohol from the Wallaville Hotel.

The theft was captured on CCTV footage, which police later reviewed.

Police subsequently executed a search warrant at Wright's home, where they found many of the stolen items including bookcases, a TV unit, a cabinet and a stolen credit card.

The court heard Wright helped police during the search by pointing out what was and wasn't his.

In an interview he said he'd thought the Gin Gin house he'd stolen the furniture from had been vacant.

He also explained to them that a number of items they'd found had been left there by a co-offendor, although 44.6g of loose chopped marijuana, as well as two glass pipes, were also located.

No convictions were recorded.



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