Police chase thief on moped

Last updated 14:29 05/02/2013

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A Blenheim man evaded a police car by riding a moped along a narrow pathway, but was found soon afterwards at his house, a court has heard.

Nathan Murray Douglas Townsend, 21, unemployed, of Riversdale, admitted charges of theft, failure to stop for police, possession of cannabis utensils and driving while forbidden when he appeared in the Blenheim District Court yesterday.

He was remanded for sentencing on March 18.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris said Townsend took the $2440 from an unlocked safe at Burger King Blenheim before climbing out the drive-through window while his workmates were outside on a break on December 12.

Police were called and officers in a nearby patrol car saw Townsend driving out of the New World Blenheim car park, but when they tried to pull him over Townsend sped away, refusing to stop and sometimes driving on the pavement as he tried to escape, Mr Harris said.

Townsend eventually drove onto the pedestrian walkway between Elizabeth St and Dillons Point Rd and police had to stop the chase.

When officers searched Townsend's house they found a cannabis bong which he admitted was his, Mr Harris said. He also admitted the other offending.

Judge Denys Barry ordered the pre-sentence report assess Townsend's drug and alcohol use.

Also in court yesterday:

Luella Sabrina Inamata, 19, of Manurewa in Auckland, admitted three charges of theft of about $290 of items and a charge of unlawfully entering a building with intent to commit a crime and was remanded for sentencing on March 18. Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris said Inamata and a 16-year-old accomplice began their spree on Percy St, in Blenheim, about 1.30am on January 26 walking along the street trying to find unlocked cars, before spotting an open window on a house. Inamata, wearing rubber gloves, tried to climb through the window, but ran away after knocking over some magazines and setting off an outside light, waking the 67-year-old woman who lived alone in the house, he said. The pair moved on to Dillons Point Rd walking up driveways and breaking into three cars, taking an assortment of items, Mr Harris said. They were carrying all the items when police arrested them.

Gavin James Columbus, 41, of Springlands, admitted stealing a laptop computer and digital camera from a tourist and supplying the man with cannabis along with two charges of trespassing at Countdown Blenheim in December. He was sentenced to four months' community detention. Mr Harris said Columbus was hitch-hiking when he was picked up by the Slovenian tourist on October 23. He sold the man a cannabis tinny for $25 and then stole his laptop, a camera and a packet of cigarettes, Mr Harris said. Police later found the computer and camera at Columbus' house. Defence lawyer Rennie Gould said Columbus was on a sentence of community detention for other crimes committed since the theft. He appeared to have turned a corner in his life and seemed to be a different person, she said. Judge Barry cancelled Columbus' existing sentence and imposed a new one with just over two months added.

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Mitchell Declan Watson, 19, unemployed, of Blenheim, admitted stealing an Xbox, games and equipment and sentenced to 70 hours' community work and ordered to pay $816 reparation. Judge Denys Barry said Watson took the items from his younger step-brother while he was away in October last year and sold them for $144. He told Watson the theft was mean-spirited.

Lance Michael Ross Harding, 50, a bouncer of Havelock, admitted charges of threatening behaviour and shoplifting $60 of bolts from Mitre 10 Mega Blenheim and was fined $60 and sentenced to 80 hours' community work.

Jason William Patchett, 21, a vineyard worker, of Mayfield, admitted possession of four improvised cannabis pipes, one bong and four spotting knives to be used for smoking cannabis and was sentenced to 40 hours' community work. Mr Harris said police were looking for a man in relation to another incident on January 11 when they looked over Patchett's fence and saw the bong sitting on his kitchen table and searched his house.

Taia Tahirangi Schuster, 19, unemployed, of Springlands, admitted smashing the wing mirrors on a car and kicking and damaging the driver's door on January 13 and was sentenced to 60 hours' community work and ordered to pay reparation of $400.

Jahmin Sabas Matangi, 22, unemployed, of Picton, admitted disorderly behaviour and was fined $200.

Joseph Paris Riddell, 33, unemployed, of Witherlea, admitted disorderly behaviour and was fined $100.

Amco Pake Cassidy, 23, a labourer, of Redwoodtown admitted smashing the window of a police cell after being found by police extremely drunk in Scott St and taken to the cells to sober up on the morning of January 6. He was ordered to pay reparation of $983.92.

James Harvey Hutchenson, 27, a vineyard worker of Blenheim, admitted refusing to supply details to police and was fined $100. Mr Harris said Hutchenson had refused to supply details of who was driving his car when the driver gave police false details after being pulled over for driving without a warrant of fitness on State Highway 6 near Wakefield last year.

- The Marlborough Express

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