JAILED: Car battery thief steals charity donation tin
A "HABITUAL" offender who stole a car battery and pinched a charity donation tin while breaking into a business has been jailed.
Daniel Gordon Johnson, 46, appeared in Grafton Local Court on Monday for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including break and enter, resist officer in execution of duty, possess prohibited drug and driving an uninsured, unregistered vehicle.
According to court documents, Johnson is considered a "habitual" offender by police with "no regard for the law" and "relies on committing crimes to access money".
The court documents state that on 6.55pm on March 18 this year Johnson drove a silver Mitsubish Verada, without any registration plates, to a Grafton service station. However after filling the car with petrol it failed to start because of a flat battery.
Johnson with the help of some friends managed to push the vehicle around the back of the service station, and staff were told Johnson would be back to replace the battery.
Around 9.40pm Johnson was captured on CCTV when he returned and jump started the car and drove it out of the service station.
The next morning at 2.57am Johnson was captured on CCTV footage of Wykes TyrePower Grafton breaking into the store's office and stealing a car battery, as well as a donation tin for the Job Creation Project charity.
At 1pm that day police received a tip-off that Johnson was on Bacon St and officers from the Grafton Target Action Group found Johnson near the levee bank. After spotting the police vehicle Johnson picked up a mountain bike and rode away from police in an attempt to flee.
After a short pursuit on foot and in their vehicle police were eventually able to arrest Johnson near the Grafton bridge.
In Grafton Local Court on Monday, Johnson's solicitor said his client was remorseful and recognises the mistakes he has made in the past, admitting that he "can't continue down this track and spend more time in jail than out of it".
Magistrate Michael Dakin said the theft of the charity tin was a "low thing to do".
"It's one thing to break into a store to steal a car battery based on a need, but to steal a charity box, that elevates the objective level of seriousness," Mr Dakin said.
Johnson was sentenced to 16 months behind bars, with a non-parole period of nine months.