Fifty-one cars were stolen from the Kurri Kurri and Cessnock areas three weeks before a 32-year-old man orchestrated the theft of his ex-girlfriend’s hatchback, Kurri Kurri Local Court has heard.
Police were targeting the high rate of thefts in the region when a Kurri Kurri woman reported that she had seen thieves take her car on March 15.
A short time later police pulled over Scott Edward Goodman on a Tarro street, but he denied any involvement.
The court heard Goodman, of Hughes Close, Kurri Kurri, had planned to steal a car from Pelaw Main with two other people that night.
Goodman parked near the car and two accomplices broke in but abandoned the attempt when they heard voices from inside a nearby house.
The three left and Goodman suggested they steal a similar car belonging to his ex-girlfriend.
They went to an Alexandra Street property in Kurri Kurri where Goodman again parked a short distance from the car and this time three accomplices broke in, forced the engine and drove away to do burnouts and handbrake turns at a nearby oval.
Goodman followed them to bushland behind Pelaw Main but when the driver of the stolen car saw a police vehicle, the three fled the car and Goodman headed back to Tarro where police stopped him.
The court heard Goodman was charged with two counts of take and drive a conveyance, resist an officer and later, intimidate a witness after he threatened to harm the younger people involved in the theft.
He pleaded guilty to all offences in court yesterday after returning from the Forum Sentencing Program.
Magistrate Darryl Pearce sentenced Goodman to nine months’ suspended jail for the thefts and witness threats and fined him $400 for resisting an officer.