A Russian orphan already described by a judge in 2012 as "the leading youth car thief in Christchurch" pleaded guilty to a mini crime spree in Akaroa.
Andrej Michael Schwaab, 20, admitted five charges - two burglaries, two thefts from cars, and driving without a licence in the Christchurch District Court.
A further charge of unlawful possession of a knife was withdrawn by the police.
Police said that on November 29 Schwaab took the navigation system out of a car he had borrowed.
He drove to an address near Akaroa and took a remote control toy helicopter from a home after forcing the sliding door open. He also made minor damage at a neighbouring property but did not take anything.
At another address in Akaroa he took an iPhone from a car.
Reparation is being sought for the damage Schwaab did to the properties but the items were recovered in his car.
Defence counsel Nick Rout said Schwaab wanted to go back to Waikato University in March, and handed the judge a psychological report.
Judge Alistair Garland remanded Schwaab on electronically monitored bail to March 18 for sentencing.
At a previous sentencing, Judge Phillip Moran said Schwaab had an attachment disorder arising from his deprivation in a Russian orphanage before being adopted by a New Zealand family.
The psychological damage was severe and ongoing, but the disorder was hard to treat and remedy, he said.
Schwaab had been in trouble, mostly for stealing cars, and had enjoyed the reputation of being the leading youth car thief in Christchurch, Judge Moran said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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