Man admits burglaries
A 47-year-old man pleaded guilty to six dishonesty charges in the Blenheim District Court on Monday, following a string of offences last year.
Michael John O'Donnell accepted four charges of burglary, one charge of being unlawfully in an enclosed yard and one of theft.
The court heard how the Blenheim man entered at least four properties in the town between October 26 and November 20 last year and rummaged through occupants' belongings.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris said O'Donnell entered a Brewer St house on October 26 through an open window between 11am and 2.30pm, after first knocking on the door to ensure nobody was home.
Once he was inside he took an Acer laptop from the kitchen bench, then went to the garage where he took a chainsaw, which he told police he sold to pay for his drug habit.
Nearly a month later, on November 18, O'Donnell smashed a small hole in a window next to an entry door and entered a house on Eltham Rd about 3.15pm.
He rummaged through drawers and cupboards, looking for items to steal, eventually taking two passports and about $600 cash.
He also entered a Beaver Rd property that day, where he knocked on the door. When somebody answered the door, O'Donnell made his excuses and quickly left the address, Mr Harris said.
Two days later, on November 20, O'Donnell went to two more Blenheim properties, taking two cameras, an MP3 player, a laptop and $300 cash from a Percy St house, after discovering no-one was home.
He then entered a Beaver Rd house, where he rummaged through a woman's underwear drawer, and stole a tobacco pouch, filters and a lighter before the occupier of the address came home.
She found O'Donnell in the kitchen, and when she asked what he was doing there he said he thought he was at his friend's house and left.
The woman said the man was wearing a hi-vis vest, which he discarded in the bushes as he left.
O'Donnell was also charged with theft, after he took a wallet containing $500 cash and cards from an unoccupied parked vehicle.
Some of the money was returned, and the owner of the wallet was seeking $350 in reparations.
Judge Richard Russell said O'Donnell had 13 precious burglary convictions, as well as other convictions for receiving stolen goods.
He remanded him until February 17 for sentencing so a pre-sentence report could be complete. "You'll know the drill," he said to O'Donnell.
The Marlborough Express