Serial thief's coin box crime spree
A SERIAL thief targeted laundromats and other businesses during a three-month crime spree that involved prying open coin boxes.
An Ipswich court heard how Brendon Cropper and a co-offender staked out laundromats late at night, waiting for the opportunity to steal.
Appearing in the dock of Ipswich Magistrates Court after 86 days already spent in custody, 24-year-old Brendon Gary Cropper from Redbank Plains pleaded guilty to 32 charges, with multiple counts of entering premises and stealing from laundromats and car washes, six counts of having property suspected of being stolen, wilful damage, and six counts of imposition.
The court was told his use of the drug ice was behind much of his offending.
Police prosecutor Michael Lee read out a list of some of the victims, with many of them laundromats including names like Lux Wash, Mr Magic Colour Wash, Love My Laundromat, Aqua Laundromat, and Collingwood Park Laundromat.
His victims also included a few car wash establishments, a ten-pin bowling club, and Bunnings hardware stores.
A charity tin was also stolen. A Goodna car wash fell victim to wilful damage.
Mr Lee said the crimes were committed in what was "a spree of offending” during January, February and March.
He said there were 15 charges of entering premises that involved entry by break.
Cropper and his co-offender used a pry bar to force open the coin boxes at the businesses.
Mr Lee said it caused about $3000 in damage with $400 damage caused on March 14 at the Collingwood Park Laundromat.
Mr Lee said Cropper stole a $199 socket set from Bunnings Springfield then used it in an imposition offence when he sold it at a pawnbrokers.
There was also a $398 stealing offence on February 12 at Bunnings Rocklea.
Zone Arcade in MacGregor was broken into and $1161 damage caused, while $300 damage was caused to the Centenary Car Wash at Sumner.
He also sold stolen items to pawnbrokers at Ipswich, Capalaba and Mount Gravatt.
Cropper's co-offender in some of the offences was named in court as Jordan Johnson, 20.
Johnson pleaded guilty and his matters were finalised on June 14, with a jail term of 12 months. Johnson was given immediate parole release.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said he did not understand why Cropper's parole had not been suspended.
Mr Fairclough said a report before the court stated Cropper suffered anxiety and had been self-medicating.
He had previously worked as a roof insulation installer and worked in hospitality.
"When not using drugs he is certainly hard working,” said Mr Fairclough.
"His offences were unsophisticated.”
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess described Cropper and Johnson as "a two-man crime spree”.
"Your parole should have been suspended as soon as you were charged,” she said.
Cropper was sentenced to 12 months'jail, suspended for 18 months, and given immediate conditional freedom.