AN OFFENDER who tried to break into several police cars while officers worked to find him crisis accommodation has been released on a community corrections order.
The 34-year-old man appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to charges including theft of a motor vehicle.
The court heard on April 28 this year, the man went to Bendigo Mazda on High Street and entered a Mazda MX30, which was left running with the keys in the ignition.
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The man drove off but police found him in Sailors Gully the next day, sleeping in the stolen car. He was charged and bailed.
The court heard then at 1.20am on April 30, the man was sitting in the Bendigo Police Station foyer while officers attempted to find him crisis accommodation.
After about two hours, the man exited the station and tried to open several unmarked police cars parked outside of the building.
The court heard the man then went to a marked police car parked on Creek Street and attempted to open the vehicle, before trying to open an unknown person's car.
The man returned to the police station foyer before going outside again. Officers spoke to him and told him to return to the front counter.
The court heard a short time later, the man ran along Thistle Street and climbed over the gate to the police car park. The man tried to open a marked Highway Patrol car before officers arrested him.
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Defence lawyer Madeline Mein said the man had problems with drug use and had been diagnosed with mental health issues.
Ms Mein said while her client was receiving medication for his psychosis, he had thrown the medication out before his offending.
The defence lawyer said her client had nowhere to live after his long term relationship broke down.
Ms Mein said the man had stolen the Mazda because he was looking for a place to stay.
The defence lawyer said the offending with the police vehicles occurred because the man had felt he was waiting too long for help.
Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Michael Petrov said it was a "very difficult situation", given the man had no stable address and was experiencing mental health issues and drug addiction.
Magistrate Russell Kelly told the offender he was not helping himself by throwing away his medication and using drugs instead.
"You have assistance there, but you need to take it otherwise you'll be in jail," Mr Kelly said.
"I understand you are in crisis right now, but it was not the answer to break into police cars while they were trying to help you."
Mr Kelly convicted and sentenced the man to three days in jail, which were reckoned as already served.
The man was also ordered to complete an 18-month community corrections order, with supervision and drug treatment conditions.
The man's licence was also cancelled and he was disqualified from driving for 12 months.
"Normally it's six months jail for theft of a motor vehicle, but it's clear you were unwell," Mr Kelly said. "This is your opportunity to get well and get on with the rest of your life."
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