TWO men ran from a crashed stolen ute after performing burnouts around California Gully, a court has heard.
Twenty-five-year-old John Hannis Bartels appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to the offending.
The court heard a Holden utility was stolen from a Shepparton address in late November 2019.
Registration plates were then taken from a vehicle in Eaglehawk on the evening of November 28.
Bartels was a passenger in the stolen ute as an associate performed burnouts around California Gully on the evening of November 29.
The vehicle crashed a short time later and witnesses saw Bartels and another man run from the vehicle.
Police attended the scene and analysed the ute. Bartels' fingerprints were found on the vehicle.
The 25-year-old was arrested on December 17 but he denied the allegations.
Defence lawyer Robert Timms said Bartels' plea had been delayed because the 25-year-old had been serving a County Court prison term for a Bendigo armed robbery.
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Mr Timms said Bartels was now complying well with a community corrections order.
The defence lawyer said his client's life had changed "substantially" as he had moved out of the Bendigo area and was working full time.
Magistrate Megan Aumair said she accepted Bartels was in a better position now than he was at the time of the offending.
"I hope that's a part of your life that you won't go back to," Ms Aumair said. "Let this be the last time you're before the court."
Bartels was convicted and fined $800.
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