Joy ride crash costs set at over $61,000

A midnight joy ride in Grandma's truck has landed a Napier teenager in big trouble, after he crashed into a car sales yard fence and a $100,000 car.

Appearing in Napier District Court yesterday, 19-year-old Thomas-Lee Jordan Wallis pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully taking the vehicle and careless driving, which caused damage costing almost $61,500.

Facing a court for the first time, according to a police summary, Wallis was remanded on bail until September 4 for sentencing, including what reparation could be paid.

Police prosecutor Sergeant John Ashfield said Wallis' grandmother arrived in Napier on July 6 and parked the Toyota Hilux she had been driving at the front of the family property in Harold Holt Ave.

Drinking with three friends during the evening, Wallis decided to take the vehicle for a joy ride, taking the keys from inside the house and getting into the vehicle which his friends pushed down the road before it was started and driven-off.

Soon afterwards, the vehicle crashed at a roundabout in Karamu Rd, Hastings, hitting a 2.4-metre steel security fence which surrounded the sales lot at Hawke's Bay Toyota, and shunting through the fence into a Performance Lexus ISP.

Police said Wallis "decamped on foot", just as his father was finding out the vehicle had been taken and was reporting it stolen. Wallis went to the Napier Police Station six days later and owned-up.

The costs comprised more than $41,000 in replacement parts for the Lexus (including $10,000 for a cruise control computer), labour charges of almost $3700, devaluation and other losses totalling almost $10,000, and fence repairs of more than $6300.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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