Man 'on the run' for crimes across Victoria was caught in a Long Gully garage, court told

A MAN who was “on the run” from police after committing crimes in Melbourne, Avoca, Gisborne and Wycheproof was found living in a garage in Long Gully, a court has heard.

Riley Hansen, 38, was “living the high life” running a successful business in Maryborough, before the company failed in 2010 and he resorted to drug use and fell into crime.

Hansen pleaded guilty in the Bendigo County Court on Thursday to six counts of theft, three counts of burglary, two counts of handling stolen goods, one count of trafficking ice and other offences.

He was spotted driving a stolen Ford Falcon with false plates in Blackburn in Melbourne’s east on October 27. He fled on foot after he was pulled over and could not be found.

The vehicle was stolen from a Wycheproof service station one week earlier.

Hansen broke into an unoccupied house in Blackburn between October 26 and 29, stealing a shotgun, pistol, Holden ute, flatscreen TV, jewellery and a knife.

He was spotted in Ballarat on October 29 with a woman who handed him a handgun. The following morning, Hansen committed burglaries on several properties in Avoca, stealing $75,000 cash, a motorcycle, a fridge and a range of tools.

Detectives found his finger prints on the window of one of the properties.

On November 4, Hansen arranged to purchase a Subaru Liberty in the car park of Gisborne Caltex.

Police were already at the scene and spoke with the seller and Hansen, before Hansen fled on foot. A backpack containing eight grams of ice and $5500 cash was recovered.

The seller gave police the address of Hansen, on Philpot Street in Long Gully.

The address was raided on November 22 and Hansen was found living in the garage. A search uncovered stolen goods including tools, swords, an ammunition belt, gun case and cartridge ammunition for a shotgun and handgun.

Hansen has spent 310 days in custody.

Defence counsel Kate Youngson said Hansen had run a successful business in Maryborough, but his life fell apart in 2010.

“He was very successful and had everything he ever wanted. He was living the high life, enjoying the fruits of his success,” she said.

“He had money and a happy family.

“The background to his offending is rooted in drug taking, particularly methamphetamine.”

Judge Frank Gucciardo will sentence Hansen on October 13.