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Dumb crim recorded burglary leading police to his mate

A TEENAGER had been fingered for a Toowoomba burglary because one of his co-offenders had recorded the break-in on his phone, the images of which eventually fell into the hands of police.  

The 17-year-old, who by law is considered a child and so cannot be named, was with others who broke into two Wilsonton homes overnight December 10 and stole property including watches, a mobile phone, laptop computer and keys to cars at the residences.  

Two cars were driven away, one later found by police in Boggabilla, the other in Moree, Toowoomba Children's Court heard.  

However, after the mobile phone footage of the burglaries fell into the hands of police who distributed it to the local media, one home owner watching the television news recognised the break-in as that being of her house.  

None of the property stolen from her home had been recovered, the court heard.  

The 17-year-old was identified as being in the footage and he acknowledged it was him, his solicitor Amber Acreman told the court.  

He was also identified in footage of him as a front seat passenger in one of the stolen vehicles.  

He had been taken into custody after the police dog squad found him at a Harlaxton home to where they had gone investigating an unrelated matter.  

He pleaded guilty to all charges.  

However, when Magistrate Catherine Pirie asked if he was willing to do community service, the teenager replied that he wasn't.  

"Why not? Why not?" Ms Pirie asked, berating the teenager that he'd been happy to be involved with others in committing crimes yet was not prepared to put something back into the community.  

"I don't think I've ever heard a child say to me in 19 years 'No, I can't do community service'," Ms Pirie said.  

Ms Pirie warned that she could keep the child in detention over the Christmas period if he liked and remanded him in custody over the lunch break "to think about it".  

After lunch, Ms Acreman told the court her client hadn't fully understood what community service entailed but now he did understand and that he was willing to comply with such an order.  

Ms Pirie noted that it wasn't suggested that the 17-year-old had actually driven either vehicle at any time but that he was a passenger.  

"I accept that you are not the prime mover in this," she told the teenager.   Ms Pirie said the community rightly denounced such offending.  

"People are sick and tired of their homes being entered, their cars being entered," she told the teen.  

"A lot of people don't recover one red cent."  

Without recording convictions, Ms Pirie placed the boy on six months probation and ordered he do 70 hours community service.  



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