Couple jailed for $300,000 crime spree

A COUPLE who, together and individually, stole almost $300,000 in more than 20 burglaries, have been imprisoned.

Roger Michael George Doyle, 29, pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court to 26 counts of burglary and stealing, seven counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, two counts of breaking and entering, two counts of serious assault as well as drug charges.

Latoya Joan Buchanan, 28, pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court to 13 counts of burglary, five counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, two counts of property damage and one count of stealing.

The string of crimes saw a number of properties ransacked by the pair between December 2011 and July 2012. Some of the crimes were committed together and others separately.

Doyle had a history of property offences and unlawful use of motor vehicles.

The total value of property stolen by Doyle was $290,249.51, while Buchanan's thefts totalled $146,197.30. Each total included crimes committed together.

Almost none of the property has been recovered by police.

The court heard in several cases Doyle broke in and robbed a house while the occupants were inside, although no violence had ever occurred.

Their crimes included stealing a safe with contents valued at $82,000 and a further $20,000 worth of property stolen from another house, while military medals and jewellery were also taken.

Doyle assaulted two police officers by thrashing and kicking when he was arrested over the offences.

The court heard Doyle had a major drug habit at the time and would spend up to $600 a day on drugs. He started committing offences only six weeks after being released from prison on parole.

The pair had been in police custody for almost a year while investigations into the case were being conducted.

Doyle was sentenced to six years' imprisonment with a parole eligibility date in 18 months, while Buchanan was sentenced to four years' imprisonment with a parole eligibility date of November 4 this year with her pre-sentence custody declared "time already served".



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