Man sells stolen bikes to buy car

A Palmerston North man tried to sell stolen bicycles to save money, which he planned to put towards a car he would live in while working in Christchurch, a court has heard.

Kerrod Robert Horima Tohia was sentenced to 11 months' imprisonment yesterday, after admitting eight dishonesty offences.

Between October last year and February this year, Tohia came into the possession of various items, including three bicycles worth $3000 and a copy of All Blacks-themed book Men in Black: The First 500 Tests.

Sometimes they were stolen items given to him, while on other occasions he stole the items himself.

Police raided the 24-year-old's house in December and January, and found the thousands of dollars worth of goods.

Police also found Tohia had used someone else's debit card to pay his Telecom and Trade Me accounts, spending $207.

In the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, defence lawyer Simon Parsons said Tohia had moved to Palmerston North from Christchurch, was out of work and "was at a bit of a loose end".

In a pre-sentence report, Tohia told a probation officer he had been working as a plasterer in Christchurch.

Work was plentiful, but accommodation was scarce. His plan had been to move to Palmerston North and pool together enough money to buy a car, which he would then sleep in when he moved back south.

Judge Gregory Ross said police had not been able to prove many cases beyond Tohia receiving stolen goods, but a number of cut bike locks found at his house was not a good look.

Moving from solid work into a pattern of crime was not a good look either, the judge said.

"You are taking backwards steps in your life."

Most of the items either stolen or received were bicycles, which the judge said would have put people out.

"An increasing number of people are using bicycles for personal transport."

The sentence on the dishonesty charges was originally 10 months, but the judge added another month so he could wipe Tohia's fines bill of $6333. "The fines are clearly beyond your means."

Manawatu Standard