Prolific burglar, P dealer in jail for five and half years

By Sandra Conchie

A brazen burglar and P-dealer, responsible for burgling a dozen properties including new homes under construction with losses of over $50,000, has been jailed for five-and-half-years.

Michael Ross Gartner, 35, of the Avenues was sentenced in Tauranga District Court yesterday after earlier admitting 54 charges.

That is, 12 counts of burglary, two counts of conspiring to supply methamphetamine, 34 counts of offering to supply methamphetamine and six counts of supplying the drug.

The burglaries occurred mainly at industrial sites and houses under construction between April and May 2011 in Tauranga, other parts of the Bay of Plenty and Hamilton,

The list of Gartner's victims includes Aquinas College, which lost two laptops and a video camera. When police executed a search warrant at Gartner's home on 15th Avenue on May 27 last year a substantial amount of stolen property was located and seized.

The drug dealing offences which occurred around the same time came to light after police analysed Gartner's text messages.

Judge Peter Rollo said regrettably the law was clear that he can only impose a reparation order if there was a realistic prospect of the offender making payment and, given Gartner's lengthy jail sentence, that was not the case.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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