Community work for doughnut thief

A TEENAGER who stole doughnuts from a Bendigo food outlet has been ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid community work.

In February this year, Harley Clark, 18, acted as a lookout while a co-accused jumped the service counters at Bendigo Marketplace's Donut King and Yutaka Sawa and tried to open the business' tills.

The court heard the pair returned to Donut King a short time later where Clark stole a doughnut, while the co-accused made a "slushie" beverage before stealing bottles of coke and 18 doughnuts.

"I didn't eat and needed something in my stomach. I was feeling sick," Clark later told police.

The teenager, who had been couch surfing in the Bendigo area after a breakdown in his family relationships, pleaded guilty in Bendigo Magistrates Court on Monday to four counts of theft, and one count each of burglary and obtaining property by deception.

Police prosecutor Constable Martin Friend told the court Clark was also responsible for stealing alcohol from liquor stores in Bendigo and a car break-in in Golden Square between February and July this year.

He said Clark stole a laptop and two credit cards from the vehicle and used the cards to buy food and cigarettes from a Kangaroo Flat service station.

Defence lawyer Kate Youngson told the court her client was struggling with homelessness, had lost his job and had underlying drug and alcohol issues.

"He has been hitting the meth hard during the past few months," Ms Youngson said.

She said Clark had no prior convictions and had broken into the car to get money for food.

Following the plea hearing, Magistrate Richard Wright stood the case down for Clark to be assessed by Corrections Victoria.

He then sentenced Clark to a 12-month community corrections order which required him to complete 120 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Wright also ordered the teenager undergo assessment and treatment for any drug and mental health issues.