Burglary man gets rehab

A MILDURA man who pleaded guilty to taking part in a string of burglaries across Sunraysia, in which more than $45,000 of property was stolen, will spend several months at a residential drug rehabilitation centre  before being sentenced.

The Mildura Magistrates’ Court yesterday heard war medals, an Order of Australia medal, cash, electronic items, food and alcohol were among the items stolen in burglaries committed by Tyelan Lockett, 28, and a co-accused between June last year and March this year.

The burglaries largely targeted commercial properties, including Mildura Native Nursery, construction industry businesses, a bedding store and two service stations, but Lockett and the co-accused also broke into the Nangiloc Football Club rooms and a residential home under con­struction.

It was from that house, whose owners were in the process of moving in, that Lockett stole war medals, an Order of Australia medal and a 65-inch television, later found in his bedroom when police searched his home.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Raef Oliver said Lockett was found hiding in the passenger-side footwell of his girlfriend’s car when he was arrested on March 29.

He had some of the stolen property in his possession, as well as 11 grams of the drug ice.

The court was told Lockett and his co-accused gained access to most of the businesses by jemmying doors while Lockett was able to enter a Caltex service station using a security code he had somehow obtained.

Lockett and the co-accused targeted a second Caltex service ­station later that night and Sen-Constable Oliver said they appeared to be familiar with the shop’s CCTV sensors, crawling along the floor and triggering only one sensor.

Defence counsel Peter Delor­enzo asked Magistrate Pauline Spencer to defer Lockett’s sen­tencing to give him a chance to take up a place at a residential rehab centre, where he would spend between nine and 12 months.

Ms Spencer said Lockett’s off­end­­ing had a “chilling effect on the whole community where people start to feel unsafe” and warned he faced a lengthy jail term with a non-parole period.

However, she agreed to defer sentencing so Lockett could seek rehabilitation.

“If you don’t stick at it, you’ll be back in custody and the term of imprisonment you’ll be serving will be a lengthy one,” she said.

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