An axe-wielding burglar has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after a slew of crimes that saw him come close to seriously injuring two people.
Dale Glatz, 37, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court this week to 23 charges, including burglary, theft, reckless conduct endangering serious injury, property damage, disqualified driving, theft of a motor vehicle, breaches of an intervention order and handling stolen goods.
On July 14 last year, a woman returned to her vehicle in Sailors Gully Road in Eaglehawk and started the ignition, but before driving, got out and went around to the passenger side to access her handbag and phone.
Glatz got in the driver’s seat and drove off, with the woman still partially inside the vehicle.
She held onto the door handle, but fearing she would be slammed into a parked car, let go, suffering injuries to her shoulder and wrist.
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Shortly afterwards, Glatz went to an Epsom service station in the stolen vehicle and drove off with $50 of petrol without paying.
He later went to a Harcourt service station and again stole $45 of fuel, as well as a bottle of motor oil.
That evening, Glatz stole registration plates belonging to another vehicle and attached them to the stolen car.
In the early hours of the following morning, he stole another $50 of petrol, this time from a Kangaroo Flat service station.
Glatz was disqualified from driving.
He also breached an intervention order twice.
Police later found the stolen vehicle outside Glatz’s address, and in his home, a jumper matching that seen on CCTV, car keys believed stolen, and a healthcare card belonging to another motor vehicle theft victim.
Glatz denied any involvement in the offences and told police he believed they had made them up.
Then about 6.30am on July 30, Glatz smashed the window of a jeweller’s store in Eaglehawk and took numerous watches worth about $1300 and a display cabinet.
The damage to the windows was worth about $2500.
A witness confronted Glatz, who swung the axe at him before running away.
The witness chased Glatz and found him waiting around a corner for him.
Glatz again swung the axe and the man jumped to the side, narrowly avoiding it.
Glatz then ran through a car park and stood behind a fence next to a laneway.
As a four-wheel drive left the laneway Glatz jumped out and tried to hit it with the axe, but he was hit by the vehicle and broke his leg.
Police attended and found him with the axe and watches. He was reportedly in a drug-affected state.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, the victim of the car theft said she had put years of painstaking work into her car, using it as a form of therapy after a loved one died.
She said she no longer trusted people and sometimes felt panicked, and worried about the impact of this on her children.
She described Glatz as “selfish and heartless”.
Glatz’s defence counsel Robert Timms said his client had little memory of his offending, and did not remember that particular victim being in the car at the time of the theft.
Mr Timms said Glatz suffered mental illness and issues with drugs, and prior to him becoming ill several years ago, he had a good work history.
“Your Honour, he is not a lost cause,” he said.
At one point Glatz interrupted court proceedings, claiming one of the victims was lying.
In sentencing, magistrate Patrick Southey took into account in Glatz’s favour his guilty plea, but said it “doesn’t seem to indicate any remorse”.
Mr Southey also said Glatz was “probably not a lost cause” and noted he could probably get back on track if his mental illness and drug issues were addressed.
But he agreed with the victim’s description of Glatz as selfish, and described him as a danger to the community.
“You’ve got no regard for other people or their safety,” Mr Southey said.
He sentenced Glatz to 21 months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 12 months, declaring 169 days already served.
Glatz was also disqualified from driving for two years.
Earlier, Mr Southey had indicated a slightly lesser sentence for Glatz, but said his “ranting and raving” indicated he did not have remorse for his victims.
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