Ice-driven burglar swapped $60,000 in gold for $360

AN ICE-driven Gympie burglar swapped $60,000 worth of stolen gold for two pawn shop loans totalling $360, Gympie Magistrates Court has been told.

Jake Voller, 18, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges that he burgled the Gympie Hockey Club, Gunabul Homestead and his neighbour's house, where he stole the gold.

He also pleaded guilty to obtaining cash by fraud on January 4 and 5 from Cash Converters at Goodna.

The discrepancy between the nine carat solid gold rings, pendants and necklaces he stole and the cash obtained for them prompted Magistrate M Baldwin to comment that Cash Converters should have had suspicions.

Voller also pleaded guilty to receiving a stolen school iPad and possessing drug utensils on March 1.

The court was told Voller burgled his neighbour's house between January 3 and 5 and stole her car as well as jewellery and coins.

The Gunabul break-in occurred between February 26 and 27 and the Gympie Hockey Club offence between February 28 and March 1.

At Gunabul, Voller stole a quantity of rib fillet steak, a chemotherapy donation tin, a large quantity of various spirits and pre-mixed drinks, as well as gold caps, towels and shirts, all of which were found in a shed at the back of his home, the court heard.

Voller's solicitor said Voller left school at grade nine and had worked since and volunteered for the Salvation Army.

He had struggled with drug use, particularly ice, and had completed a drug rehabilitation course.

His stealing was to support his drug habit.

"You should hang your head in shame," Mrs Baldwin said. "On your deathbed do you want to say 'I was just a low-life criminal' or do you want to say 'I had a bad patch?'"

She sentenced him to nine months' jail with parole from June 1, counting nearly three months already served. She ordered probation for the remaining six months, with a further nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

Mrs Baldwin ordered $3500 restitution and adjourned the matter for more information on further restitution.

Gympie Times

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