Truck thief has turned corner

CHRIS HYDE
Last updated 12:00 26/02/2014

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A Dannevirke man who crawled under a fence and stole a truck worth more than $90,000 has turned his life around from the moment he decided to return it.

Keegan John Brieske, 21, pleaded guilty in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday to a charge of burglary and intentional damage, offences that stem from when the apprentice was living in Blenheim in the middle of 2013.

A police summary of the offending says Brieske crawled under a fence at Fulton Hogan's Blenheim yard, on the corner of McArtney St and Trevor Cres, at 8pm on August 27.

He obtained the keys to a 2007 Isuzu truck and drove it through the front gates, ripping them off their hinges and rendering them unreplaceable.

Brieske then drove 45 kilometres before deciding to turn around and return the truck.

Defence lawyer Peter Coles said Brieske had stolen the truck with the intention to drive it to a river outside the region and take his life.

"He moved to Blenheim to search for a new lifestyle and was working as a vineyard worker down there.

"The work was far too intermittent for the cost of living.

"He knew no-one, he had no friends down there and he became depressed about those circumstances."

Since the incident Brieske had returned to live with his parents in Dannevirke and had picked up an apprenticeship, Mr Coles said.

"His life is on the up and up."

Judge Barbara Morris described the offending as "unusual" and said she would take Brieske's clean record and the fact he had turned his life around into account.

She sentenced him to 80 hours' community work and ordered him to pay reparation of $2910 to Fulton Hogan.

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- Manawatu Standard

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