When police raided Sumnan Ung's home they found enough tools to start a construction company.

But the 30-year-old was no tradie.

The items had all been stolen from building sites around the region and were kept at Ung's St Kilda, Dunedin, home.

Police executed a drug-related search warrant at the address on January 29 and turned up other items more explicitly linked to the criminal underworld.


In Ung's bedroom were five rounds of ammunition in a bedside table, 219mg of methamphetamine, 46mg of MDMA and glass pipes.

The defendant said the drugs were from "ages ago" and that he had bought the huge haul of stolen tools off a friend, but he knew only their first name.

Others he said he bought through Facebook.

Among the stolen property were nail guns, air compressors, paint, sanders, heaters, battery chargers, chainsaws, fans and a vacuum cleaner.

Together they were worth more than $12,000, police estimated.

Despite being on bail for drugs, ammunition and receiving charges, Ung repeatedly came to police attention during the Covid-19 lockdown.

He was stopped for erratic driving on March 26 and was pulled over with other people in his car twice in the ensuing week.

He was given a pre-charge warning after being stopped in Momona on April 10 while the country was at alert level 4.


But even that did not deter him.

Police stopped him as he was riding a motor scooter at 80km/h along the Southern Motorway near Green Island.

Ung acknowledged he had been previously warned about his conduct but thought he would ride out to see a friend in East Taieri.

Counsel John Westgate said Ung had "got himself in way over his head".

He had since stopped using drugs, the court heard, and had broken ties with the criminal fraternity with whom he had been consorting.

Judge Peter Rollo said the Cambodian-born defendant suffered mental health issues for which he was medicated.


Ung was sentenced to eight months' home detention and 85 hours' community work.