Crime spree leads to 18 months’ jail

The Timaru Herald - - News - Joanne Holden

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.’’

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