AN "OPPORTUNISTIC" thief has been jailed after he broke into a Bendigo property and stole items valued at more than $5000.
Thomas Stephens, 38, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court this week where he pleaded guilty to charges including burglary and theft.
The court heard Stephens' licence was cancelled for two years on June 15 last year.
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On July 26, the 38-year-old stole a car from a Kennington address. The vehicle had keys in the ignition and was left running when Stephens entered the driver's seat and drove off.
About 30 minutes later, Stephens went to an East Bendigo address in the stolen car and broke into a shed.
He forced open a door before taking antiques and power tools. Stephens cut leads and stole a CCTV camera before leaving.
The stolen items were valued at more than $5000.
Stephens was located in a Kennington carpark the next day. He was unconscious after taking some unknown substance.
The 38-year-old was taken to hospital via ambulance. He later made admissions to the theft of the car and the other items.
Stephens was released on bail and ordered to return to the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on February 11, but he failed to appear.
Sometime between 4pm on February 12 and 9am on February 13, Stephens went to a Flora Hill worksite on Edwards Road and stole two registration plates.
He was located unconscious at a Kangaroo Flat public bathroom on July 12. Police found 85ml of the drug GHB on him before he was taken to hospital via ambulance.
Defence lawyer Rebecca Heley told the court Stephens had been struggling with a drug addiction for the past 15 years.
Ms Heley said her client's criminal history reflected drug-related offending or crimes that stemmed from his drug use.
The defence lawyer said the theft of the car had been "opportunistic" and Stephens had little recollection of his actions throughout that period.
Ms Heley said while Stephens had previously breached community corrections orders, the magistrate should consider giving the 38-year-old another chance to get his life back on track.
But Magistrate Sharon McRae said she was not on board with that submission.
Ms McRae said Stephens' prior criminal history looked like a "broken record" of seven corrections order breaches and 19 driving while disqualified charges.
"In my view, that's enough," she said. "I'm very unimpressed with your behaviour."
Ms McRae said Stephens' rehabilitation prospects would have to be "fairly guarded" as Stephens continued to "flout the law".
She convicted and sentenced Stephens to nine months in jail, with 44 days reckoned as already served.
His licence was cancelled and he was disqualified from driving for six months.
If he did not plead guilty, Stephens would have been jailed for 12 months.
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