For 17-year-old Gavin Peters, driving a stolen car that was used in a ram raid of a Northland supermarket may have been a temporary buzz for him and his four mates but reality hit when he was sentenced to six months' home detention.

Peters, of Onerahi, appeared in the Whangārei District Court on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to charges of burglary and unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle.

Judge Greg Davis described it as serious offending where the "boys have got together, decided to steal a car and hit a shop".

On April 7 this year a car was stolen from an Onerahi property. While it was not suggested Peters stole the vehicle, he ended up driving it on a joyride around Onerahi before heading to Parua Bay.


About 10pm the security alarm sounded when the car slammed through the front window of the Four Square supermarket at Parua Bay. It was the second time in 10 days the business had been hit by ram raiders.

The males in the car swarmed through the window and went to the cigarette cabinet, which they could not open, and instead grabbed cigarette papers and filters, chocolates and bottles of red wine.

"I'm picking this wasn't a highly thought out plan and it was cooked up on the way out there," Judge Davis said.

"Grand theft auto is a video game but this isn't a game, it's real life. Now you're in the dock this is where the rubber meets the road."

Police had tried to establish with the owners of the supermarket how much damage had been done and the cost of the stolen items but the owners had not supplied police with any details.

"I suspect the impact on the business would've been huge," Judge Davis said.

The owner of the stolen vehicle had not supplied police with any details on the damage done to the vehicle, which after being used in the ram raid, was dumped in the tide off Pa Rd in Onerahi.

Another person involved in the ram raid, Triden Tarawa, 20, who appeared on Friday, had his sentencing adjourned until October 11.


Malacki Tokorangi, 18, who was also charged in relation to the ram raid, is scheduled to appear in the Whangārei District Court next Tuesday.

In June 18-year-old Zion Tahitahi was sentenced to 10 months' home detention for his part in the ram raid.

The fifth person has never been identified or charged.