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Geraldton thief sentenced to 11-month supervision order for $150,000 stealing spree

Lachlan AllenMidwest Times
Geraldton Courthouse.
Camera IconGeraldton Courthouse. Credit: Anita Kirkbright / Geraldton Guardian

A Geraldton teenager has narrowly avoided jail over his role in a stealing spree worth more than $150,000, which included multiple vehicles and hundreds of parcels — some of which contained potentially lifesaving cancer medication.

Tommylee Glen Stephens appeared in Geraldton Magistrates Court on Monday for sentencing on five counts of stolen motor vehicle, one count of aggravated burglary and stealing over the series of offences in Webberton earlier this year.

The 18-year-old pleaded guilty to all charges on July 7 and has spent two weeks in custody.

Lawyer Veronica Randall told the court Stephens’ co-offenders had already been dealt with by way of intensive supervision orders.

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Police prosecutor Sgt Paul Birkinshaw said on February 7, Stephens stole a $44,000 truck from Toll Webberton and three White Mercedes vans worth $28,000 each.

In relation to the aggravated burglary charge, on that same day Stephens and his co-offenders stole 370 parcels valued at $50,000 headed for Geraldton and the Mid West region.

The packages were then placed into the four Toll vehicles and driven into the gates at Toll Webberton, damaging them in the process.

The trucks were destroyed and later dumped while the packages were discarded in bushland. The stolen property has not been recovered.

Magistrate Angus Hockton noted the stolen parcels contained medication, in particular specialist cancer treatment.

“That medication was useless to you but expensive to them and potentially lifesaving,” he said.

The court was told Stephens was compliant with his previous bail supervision.

Mr Hockton said the only reason Stephens avoided jail was his age and the fact he pleaded guilty.

“If you were older you’d undoubtedly be going to prison, even with no record, that’s how serious this offending is,” he said.

Mr Hockton highlighted Stephens’ difficult childhood, which saw him exposed to violence and drug use.

Taking these factors into consideration, he sentenced the teenager to an 11-month supervision order and 40 hours of community service.

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