A car owner brought along a balaclava-clad mate when he went to see a mechanic over car repairs he thought were unsatisfactory.
When the mechanic disappeared out the back door, 28-year-old Conan Albert Jordan helped himself to a laptop computer and two cameras from the garage.
They were rapidly disposed of and Jordan, a beneficiary, is likely to be ordered to pay $999 for their loss.
When asked by Christchurch District Court Judge Paul Kellar what happened to them, he replied simply: "They're gone."
The police wanted to take his car and his driver's licence because of his offending, but he has already sold the car and lost his licence for other offences.
He owes a substantial amount of unpaid fines and he is doing a series of community work sentences, with about 200 hours still to go.
Today he pleaded guilty to a charge of theft. He had been about to go on trial on a charge of burglary but the guilty plea on the reduced charge meant the trial was not needed.
Crown prosecutor Anselm Williams said that after a disagreement about repair work done on his car, Jordan arrived at the repair shop in Papanui on February 27, accompanied by an associate in a full-face balaclava and took the items when the mechanic "exited out the rear of the building".
Judge Kellar said it was not surprising that the mechanic "did a runner" when someone in a balaclava turned up with a dissatisfied customer.
Defence counsel Philip Allan said the offending had been triggered by the mechanic - in Jordan's view - shirking his responsibility to put things right with the repairs to the car.
Judge Kellar remanded Jordan on bail to December 5 for sentence and ordered a pre-sentence report with confirmation of the number of community work hours available for a further sentence.
- The Press
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