Cars allegedly stolen just “for a bit of fun”

Bendigo Magistrates' Court.
Bendigo Magistrates' Court.

A MARYBOROUGH man told police he and a co-accused allegedly stole multiple cars and a motorbike from rural properties because they “just wanted to have a bit of fun”, a court has heard.

Jake Gray, 22, was refused bail in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, facing multiple theft of vehicle and other theft charges.

He and a co-accused were also allegedly involved in attempted petrol drive-offs in Bendigo and Ravenswood in a car with seven occupants.

The court Gray allegedly used a screwdriver to steal a car on Mariners Reef Road in Maryborough on March 10. His co-accused allegedly drove the car to the Pyrenees Highway where its engine failed.

Gray then allegedly stole a Honda CTX motorbike from a rural property, which was abandoned in Carisbrook before they walked to Majorca.

Gray allegedly entered a house and found keys to a Toyota Hilux, which was driven back into Maryborough before its seats were set on fire. The pair allegedly entered another property where they were disturbed by the occupant, and fled.

The co-accused was arrested the next day, and Gray was arrested four days later.

They received bail and, on April 18, Gray allegedly stole $54 worth of petrol from Caltex Maryborough before the co-accused allegedly drove Gray and others to Ballarat.

The pair allegedly stole three bottles of Jack Daniels from a bottle shop, and then drove to Ravenswood Caltex with seven people in the car.

The pumps were shut off, so they drove to Long Gully BP where they were also denied service, but managed to allegedly steal a small amount of petrol.

The court heard they attempted to fill up three times at the BP in the space of an hour, before police blocked them in and they fled back to Maryborough.

The car ran out of petrol 10 kilometres out of town, so Gray allegedly stole a Hyundai from Keilor Lane, Maryborough.

He drove the car back to Maryborough. Gray and the co-accused were arrested again the next day.

Gray admitted to the offences to police, and said “I can’t help myself, I just wanted to have a bit of fun”.

Magistrate John Murphy denied bail, and said Gray had shown “total disregard for people’s property”.

“If you’re released on bail, you’ll re-offend by knocking off someone else’s car,” he said.

Gray was remanded in custody to reappear in court on April 27.