A Southland teenager who needed a spare tyre went on a "mission to steal", jacking up a car and ending up in Timaru, the Invercargill District Court was told.
Michael McGavin, 18, meat worker, of Makarewa, was sentenced to 100 hours' community work for theft of a wheel assembly on November 8 when he appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips in the Invercargill District Court yesterday.
Police prosecutor Denise Harvey said McGavin and a group of associates drove from Invercargill to Timaru, leaving around midnight, to meet with a car seller and pick up a new vehicle.
At Clinton, the car they were travelling in blew a tyre and they replaced it with the spare, she said.
However, upon reaching Timaru, the car blew a second tyre, and the group had to call the vehicle seller to come and meet them as they did not have a second spare.
McGavin then wandered around the neighbourhood, looking for a spare tyre.
When he found an unattended vehicle, he jacked it up and stole the wheel assembly, the court was told.
Lawyer Richard Little said McGavin had been drinking en route to Timaru, and accepted stealing the wheel assembly was a stupid mistake.
McGavin did not think any service stations would be open at that hour and so resorted to stealing, Mr Little said.
Judge Phillips said McGavin's offending was "considered and calculated", as he would have had to take a jack with him on his stroll.
"You can't say it was spur of the moment, can you? You had no consideration for the person going to come out and find his car immobile."
The fact the group of "hooligans" had travelled to Timaru to meet a car seller in the middle of the night was also suspicious, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News