A MAN who broke into Catholic College Bendigo and stole thousands of dollars of computer equipment and a master key to the school said he just wanted to have a “snoop around”.
Russell Clint Ingram, 33, broke through a padlock-bolted door at the school’s Barkly Street campus about 11pm on October 4 last year.
He left with a master key to the school, $30 cash and a laptop. Two weeks later, on October 19, he returned with the master key and stole two microprocessor boards from a classroom, one micro-processor kit and one drill.
The estimated cost of the stolen equipment was $3500 and the school spent $18,000 to re-key 177 external doors.
Ingram yesterday pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and two charges of burglary.
The Bendigo Magistrates Court heard Ingram was living in his car in Barkly Street at the time and had wandered into the school to use the toilets.
He told police after he was arrested that he was just snooping around and happened to come across a door that was unlocked.
Prosecuting, Senior Constable Mark Herman said there were signs of forced entry through a bolted door, and attempted entry into the school’s locked canteen.
Senior Constable Herman said an arrest warrant was issued to Ingram’s last-known address before he was eventually found living in his car at a Strathdale park.
The court heard Ingram had previously left a job in Bridgewater and had nowhere to live.
Magistrate Bruce Cottrill said the break-ins and thefts were serious offences.
Ingram was placed on a community corrections order for 12 months, with 100 hours of community service.