A man who recently moved to Hokitika to escape from criminal and drug influences in Hawkes Bay has been convicted on theft charges.

Timothy Rangi Verplanke, 28, appeared in Greymouth District Court yesterday on charges of stealing a Playstation and games valued at $330 from a Napier video outlet in June, and taking petrol valued at $76 from a service station in Nelson, and $80 of fuel from a Motueka service station.

Verplanke was convicted, ordered to pay $516 reparation and sentenced to 150 hours' community work.

Defence lawyer John O'Connell said Verplanke had weaned himself off a bad methamphetamine 'P' habit since arriving on the Coast and was hopeful of getting a job soon.


Judge Raoul Neave said Verplanke's "significant" criminal history was relatively light on dishonesty matters but he warned him that he should keep his nose clean on the West Coast.

"Go back to your old ways and you will go to jail."

Another new Hokitika resident formerly of Hawkes Bay was remanded on bail for sentencing on March 27 on theft charges, plus others of breaching community work sentences. Chloe Grant, 19, admitted stealing $25 of petrol from a Motueka service station and unlawfully taking a Toyota Celica car from Hastings.