Serial thief to fight 17 charges

A Shortland man faces 26 charges over a string of house and car break-ins at Kurri Kurri and Redhead in the past two weeks.

Ryan James Connor, 21, of Libya Street, pleaded guilty to nine of the charges and will defend the remaining 17 that include aggravated break and enter, larceny, property damage and car theft. 

In a bail application yesterday, Connor’s solicitor told the court his client conceded he did steal items from unlocked cars to fund a cannabis habit, but denied entering houses. 

But police allege that on January 20, Connor and a co-accused entered the unlocked garage of a Kurri Kurri home while the 91-year-old owner slept inside. 

Unable to find any valuables in the garage or inside the woman’s car, the pair broke into her sunroom but again could not find any property to steal, police said. 

Court documents said a week later on February 27 Connor stole from several unlocked cars parked in driveways and streets of Millfield. 

Two nights later Connor and a co-accused are alleged to have targeted vehicles in the Redhead and Dudley areas, again parked in garages and on the street. The pair are further accused of stealing two vehicles that were later found burnt out in Kurri Kurri and Buchanan. 

The court heard police seized a large amount of goods including sub-woofers, a hair straightener, a camera, GPS and several house and garage keys from a home in Weston where Connor was believed to be staying. 

Magistrate Sharron Crews said Connor posed an unacceptable risk to the community and denied him bail. 

The court heard Connor, who had made admissions to some of the theft charges, was estranged from his family in Kurri Kurri. He is expected to make a bail application in Newcastle Local Court on  April 3.

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