Burglar guilty - no butts about it

By Sandra Conchie of the Bay of Plenty Times -
DNA was found on a discarded cigarette butt. Photo / Thinkstock
DNA was found on a discarded cigarette butt. Photo / Thinkstock

A Tauranga man who burgled a local car firm and stole more than $10,000 worth of tools and products was caught after his DNA was found on a discarded cigarette butt left inside the premises.

In the face of overwhelming forensic evidence, Quayde Richard Hulbert, 19, from Pyes Pa, pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary when he appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday.

The court was told that sometime between June 2 and 6, Hulbert forced entry to Eurocar Services in Aerodrome Rd through a locked door and stole more than $5000 worth of trade tools and products.

Then, overnight on June 5, the business was burgled again and more than $5000 worth of tools and trade items were taken.

A cigarette butt found inside the premises after the first burglary was sent to the ESR for testing by police and was found to contain Hulbert's DNA.

At 2am on June 23, police found Hulbert riding his pushbike along Newton Rd carrying a black satchel containing a six-inch spanner, micro torch and screwdriver.

Hulbert, who has previous convictions, claimed he knew nothing about the burglaries but, given the DNA evidence, he was charged.

The exact list of items stolen and reparation schedule is still to be provided to the court.

His lawyer, Tony Rickard-Simms, told Judge Peter Rollo two other people had been charged and the reparation, which was still to be resolved, would need to be split.

Mr Rickard-Simms said the some of the items were recovered during a search of one of Hulbert's alleged co-offender's home.

They are yet to dealt with by the court.

Hulbert had been on a 24-hour curfew except when at his Bay of Plenty Polytechnic course or in the company of his mother and he had fully complied with his bail conditions, Mr Rickard-Simms said.

Judge Rollo agreed to continue Hulbert's bail pending sentencing on August 20, but told him he should not take that as any indication that he was going to get a sentence of home detention.

"If you break the rules in relation to your bail, then home detention would be completely out of the question," the judge said.

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