A MAN who smashed his way into a Harcourt service station has pleaded guilty to more than 10 charges.
James Charles Brown, 37, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Monday where he admitted to 12 offences including theft of a motor vehicle and burglary.
The court heard about 4.50am on May 20 this year, Brown and another person drove to the service station in Harcourt.
They broke in through the store's front door before smashing the COVID-19 protective shield near the counter.
The court heard Brown then jumped over the counter and cut open the cigarette cabinet. There were no cigarettes inside so the pair grabbed a number of other items, including chocolate, before leaving.
The court heard then about 3am on June 25 this year, a victim was starting up their Mazda outside of a Flora Hill address.
The owner left the vehicle unattended for a period of time where Brown entered the car and drove off. Brown found the keys of another vehicle inside the Mazda.
About 5.30am that day Brown drove to a Jackass Flat address in the stolen car. He then stole a ute that was at the property using the keys he found inside the Mazda.
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The court heard about 10.15am on June 26 this year, Brown was captured on CCTV at a Kennington petrol station.
Brown filled the stolen ute with diesel worth about $40 before leaving the station without paying.
Police recovered the stolen ute on June 29.
Brown was arrested in Golden Square on July 24 this year. He was searched and police found a substance believed to be methamphetamine in his possession.
Police also searched his home and found cannabis and keys to the stolen Mazda.
Brown did not have a driver's licence at the time of the offending.
The court heard Brown admitted to the burglary, thefts, and drug possession when questioned by police.
Defence lawyer Nicholas Rolfe said Brown had a limited but "spectacular" criminal history that was linked to drug use.
Mr Rolfe said the car thefts were "opportunistic", and that the vehicles had been located and not damaged.
The defence lawyer said a combination sentence would be an appropriate punishment.
Brown was remanded in custody so he could undergo a community corrections order assessment.
Brown is due to return to court later this month for sentencing.
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