A PATUTAHI couple who targeted unoccupied rural homes to steal electronic items and motorbikes will be sentenced on burglary charges in August.
Michael Tuhi Webb, 22, pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court to four counts of entering a property with intent to commit a crime and driving while disqualified (for the third time or more).
Webb was bailed under a 7pm to 7am curfew to reappear for sentencing on August 3.
His partner and co-offender Jonni Leigh Reuben, 18, pleaded guilty to three counts of entering a property with intent to commit a crime. She was remanded for sentencing on the same date.
A probation report, a report on electronically-monitored sentences and a reparation report were ordered for both.
Webb, who had been jailed before for driving while disqualified, was likely to be imprisoned although there was the chance of an electronically-monitored sentence, said Judge David Ruth.
He deserved to be remanded in custody to give the community a break from his offending.
Counsel for Webb, Alistair Clarke, said there was an address available for bail but it would became unavailable for a home detention/community detention sentence if Webb was remanded in custody.
Judge Ruth said it was an “awful shame” Reuben had lost her record of having no previous convictions. Her three burglary convictions would have far reaching effects for the rest of her life.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Miriam Charmley said Webb, a disqualified driver, drove to a Ford Street address accompanied by Reuben on May 18. The owners of the house were overseas.
Webb knocked twice on the door and looked through the windows to make sure no one was home. He walked to the rear of the house where he was seen by a neighbour.
Webb pretended he was looking for lemons and the couple left.
Ms Charmley said they drove to an unoccupied house in nearby Bruce Road. Webb knocked on the front and rear doors then entered the house through an insecure door.
He used a T-shirt in a way to avoid leaving fingerprints and took an i-Pod worth $200, and two laptop computers worth $600 and $1100.
Reuben put the items in their car while Webb took a crate of beer worth $40 from the garage.
A neighbour disturbed them and they left.
The owners later arrived home and noticed their house keys were missing.
Webb and Reuben drove on to an unoccupied address in Matawai Road where Webb forced entry into a garage and took a mini dirt bike worth $800.
On May 30 he drove around Patutahi on the stolen dirt bike, which he had repainted.
Webb drove to an Onslow Road address and knocked on doors and looked through windows. He found a small motorbike, valued at $300, in an open garage.
The residents arrived home and thought Webb was looking to rent their house as they were moving. They showed him around the house then Webb walked outside and rested the small motorbike against his stolen dirt bike.
The residents asked Webb what he was doing and he told them he was taking their motorbike.
They told him they would ring the police.
Webb rode about 400 metres, threw the bike into a paddock and covered it with maize stalks.
Police executed a search warrant at the home of Webb and Reuben on June 5.
They found the dirt bike, two laptop computers and a MP3 player.
One laptop was damaged — Reuben admitting she broke it during a “domestic” with Webb.
The motorbike, hidden in the maize paddock, was later found.
Police are seeking reparation of $2784 for repainting the dirt bike, repairing the laptop, replacing locks and to reimburse insurance excess losses.