A prolific thief whose crimes include stealing the mayor of Upper Hutt's car while he was working out at the gym has today been sentenced on 40 charges.

His offending also includes stealing from his mother when she let him stay at her house.

Brendan Blair McBride, 27, appeared in the Hutt Valley District Court today for sentencing on a multitude of theft charges, many of which related to stealing from gym changing rooms around the Wellington region.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to 40 charges, including shoplifting, theft, unlawfully taking motor vehicles, taking or using a document for pecuniary advantage, and receiving stolen property.

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Most of McBride's offending was squeezed into two small windows in July and September last year.

That included when he stole Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy's car from the City Fitness gym car park on July 25.

Guppy was doing an afternoon workout when McBride came into the gym, broke the lock on his locker, and took his belongings - including the keys to his $46,000 unmarked Holden Commodore.

Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said McBride needed to understand the community would not accept this type of behaviour. File photo / Mark Mitchell
Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said McBride needed to understand the community would not accept this type of behaviour. File photo / Mark Mitchell

Police retrieved the car later that night, Guppy told the Herald.

"The police did an outstanding job."

Guppy said consistent offenders such as McBride needed to understand society doesn't put up with their behaviour.

"Someone who's doing continuous offending against society needs to understand that it's not acceptable and it has a huge impact on large numbers of people.

"Our communities don't want people like that behaving like that."

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According to the summary of facts, on a number of occasions McBride entered gyms around the Wellington region and stole from the changing rooms and lockers.

He then used payWave-enabled stolen cards to buy cigarettes and snacks.

But that was not McBride's only modus operandi. On two occasions he went to The Warehouse, took expensive speakers from the shelves, and went to the checkout counter asking for a refund.

Both times he was told he could not receive a refund, after which he left the store with the speakers.

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McBride also stole from his mother mid last year after recently getting out of prison in Australia.

At that point he was "not known to police in New Zealand", the summary of facts said.

"The victim thought she could help her son with his drug dependency by inviting him back to New Zealand to live with her, but has become frightened of him due to his aggressive and unpredictable behaviour," it said.

She booked a holiday to Australia in June and agreed McBride could stay at the house by himself on the condition he attend a drug and alcohol assessment.

"Motivated by her distrust of [McBride], the victim took precautions to protect her belongings while she was gone."

The victim installed security cameras throughout the home, and locked away valuables. She also took her jewellery to a friend's house for safekeeping.

Brendan McBride had recently been deported from Australia before offending in New Zealand. Photo / Supplied
Brendan McBride had recently been deported from Australia before offending in New Zealand. Photo / Supplied

But just two days after the victim's holiday began, McBride and two other people entered the house. He covered up some of the security cameras and loaded the valuables - some tools, a mountain bike, and other items - into a car.

McBride later told police the tools belonged to him, and the bike was "never there in the first place".

Other offending included walking out of supermarkets with fully loaded trolleys while telling staff he had already paid for the groceries, stealing a set of golf clubs from a car in a private carpark, and driving off without paying for petrol.

There was also an incident in September last year where McBride fled police in a stolen car. He was later found by a police dog handler hiding in a bush in Whitby.

On another occasion he was caught fraudulently using someone's credit card when he tried to buy a 10 carat gold chain online from Michael Hill, valued at $13,477.

McBride had provided his name and address for delivery details. The order was cancelled as Michael Hill recognised it as potentially fraudulent.

In court today, Judge Arthur Tompkins said McBride's offending was fuelled by his methamphetamine addiction.

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He had recently been deported from Australia when he began committing crimes in New Zealand.

Judge Tompkins said there was no further offending the court was aware of since the last charges in September last year. He said McBride had been making progress dealing with his addiction and mental health issues.

There were "numerous victims" and "many thousands of dollars" of reparation McBride now owed - though the reparation figure only represented a small proportion of the actual loss, both financially and emotionally.

"It is noteworthy, also, that the offending followed a reasonably regular pattern, with Mr McBride mostly entering gyms, using a variety of stratagems to get past staff, then stealing property from the gym's locker rooms."

Taking into account McBride's addiction, mental health issues, need to repay the debt, and rehabilitative steps, Judge Tompkins sentenced him to six months of community detention.

He will also serve 18 months of intensive supervision, and is disqualified from driving for eight months.