Mitchell James Gilbert jailed over Jurien Bay thieving spree

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Liam BeattyMidwest Times
Mitchell James Gilbert.
Camera IconMitchell James Gilbert. Credit: Supplied

A Perth man has been jailed over a thieving spree while on holiday in Jurien Bay earlier this month.

Mitchell James Gilbert was caught by police with stolen property after a car crash on Indian Ocean Drive when it was revealed the vehicle and some other items had been stolen.

Prosecuting Sgt Beau Jones said police were alerted to the crash around 6.15am on January 10, 15km south of Jurien Bay.

When they arrived, the 29-year-old had been detained by witnesses while the driver of the vehicle fled on foot.

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The vehicle, a Nissan Patrol, had been stolen during a burglary in Carnamah on January 3, while a jet ski, trailer, barbecue and marine speakers had been stolen from three Jurien Bay homes just hours before the crash.

In Geraldton Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, Gilbert pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing stolen property and one count of stealing a vehicle. He pleaded not guilty to driving under a suspended licence.

“I understand I made a mistake,” he told the court.

“The only reason I’m pleading not guilty is because I wasn’t in the driver’s seat at any point.”

Gilbert has refused to say who was driving the car and police say no one else has been charged over the incident. He was jailed for nine months over the incident by Magistrate Chirs Miocevich, who said it was unfortunate his past prison stints had “done little to stop you offending”.

“People are sick and tired of people stealing their cars and taking their property,” he said.

“I need to send a message that these crimes will not be tolerated.”

Gilbert will be eligible for parole in May and will return to court on April 12 for a trial on the driving charge.

Police say they have CCTV footage of him driving at 3am the day of the thefts.

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