A South Burnett 18-year-old has been left with an almost $15000 bill after going on a stealing spree.
A South Burnett 18-year-old has been left with an almost $15000 bill after going on a stealing spree.

Nanango teen went on almost $15K stealing spree from company

An 18-year-old has been slapped with a hefty bill to repay after stealing tools and fuel from a logging company in the South Burnett.

Tristan Andy Cortes appeared in the Nanango Magistrates Court on February 18 where he pleaded guilty to one count each of contravene a direction of police, driving with a disqualified licence, stealing and wilful damage.

Police prosecutor sergeant Pepe Gangemi told the court on January 1 2021, Cortes failed to attend the Nanango Police Station to present his particulars – instead attending four days later than required.

Then on or about January 4, sergeant Gangemi said Cortes stole a toolbox containing hand tools, UHF radios, a fuel pump and 200L of diesel fuel from a logging company in the Benarkin State Forest.

Sergeant Gangemi told the court the equipment was left at logging sites as it was not practical to remove the equipment daily.

In the process of stealing the equipment, Cortes also damaged several pieces of machinery.

Finally, on January 18, police located Cortes after he had lost control of his vehicle on a rural road despite having had his licence disqualified by court order.

Sergeant Gangemi said restitution of nearly $15,000 was being sought by the complainants.

Cortes was represented in court by Legal Aid solicitor Ms Reid, who noted his young age.

“He said there is no reasonable excuse for his behaviour … and he is remorseful for his actions,” Ms Reid said.

She submitted for a probation order to assist Cortes managing his alcohol usage.

Magistrate Andrew Sinclair took into account Cortes’ young age, but also noted he had “caused a substantial amount of property loss”.

Cortes was convicted and fined $150 for the contravention charge, disqualified from driving for two years for driving without a licence, and was placed on probation for the stealing and wilful damage he was placed on probation for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay $14,250.35 in restitution, referred to SPER.

No convictions were recorded.