Crime spree leads to 18 months’ jail
An Oamaru man whose six-week crime spree kicked off with stealing a car in Timaru has been jailed.
Tangaroa Raymond Charles Hempel pinched a Daihatsu Sirion from an Otipua Rd, Timaru, address and drove it to a petrol station on Severn St, Oamaru, where he attempted to take a drink and leave without paying – putting it back when he realised he was being watched.
The 36-year-old’s offending spanned November 29, 2019, to January 11, 2020 and on Wednesday in the Oamaru District Court he pleaded guilty to burglary, shoplifting, possessing methamphetamine and amphetamine, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, three counts of unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle, receiving property, two of receiving property, three of taking a document for pecuniary advantage, and four of using a document for pecuniary advantage.
Hempel was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for 12 months when he appeared before Judge Joanna Maze.
Judge Maze said the ‘‘lead charge’’ was burglary, which involved Hempel breaking into a neighbour’s home and stealing a $1500 ring.
Police prosecutor Sergeant John Somerfield said police executed a search warrant at Hempel’s address the day after the burglary.
They uncovered the ring in a bag of other stolen jewellery, as well as 0.57 grams of methamphetamine, a power drill with the name of an Oamaru business printed on it, and another person’s chequebook Hempel had used to withdraw more than $1300.
Prior to the warrant, police had been actively seeking Hempel for a number of offences – including stealing the car in Timaru; taking another vehicle in Oamaru; unsuccessfully attempting to hotwire three other vehicles; stealing and using bank cards; and stealing $12,000 worth of jewellery from a store.
Hempel had been in custody since the police search on January 12.
Judge Maze said ‘‘instability’’ in Hempel’s life had led to drug addiction and a ‘‘continuation of offending’’.
‘‘There is an urgent need for intervention.’’
The judge said Hempel had shown ‘‘enthusiasm for change’’ so attention would be given to addressing his drug and alcohol needs, building up his skills for employment, and helping him reconnect with his cultural identity.
‘‘I decline to order reparation, as to do so would cause you undue hardship.’’