He preyed on innocent members of the public — mainly in the Glenholme area — and even a man at a charity stall was not off-limits.
Joshua Taylor blamed his methamphetamine addiction on his three-and-a-half-month crime spree that saw him plead guilty to 32 dishonesty charges and face a judge for sentencing in the Rotorua District Court on Friday.
Among Taylor's crimes was stealing an iPod from a man who was manning a Make A Wish Foundation fundraising stall outside Countdown supermarket and breaking into people's homes while they were inside.
Taylor was sentenced by Judge Eddie Paul to two years and 11 months in prison.
He had previously pleaded guilty to nine charges of burglary, nine charges of obtaining a bank or credit card, six charges of theft from a vehicle, three charges of theft, three charges of unlawfully being in an enclosed yard, one charge of shoplifting and one charge of unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle.
His offending occurred between April 15 and the end of July last year.
Judge Paul detailed each incident in court, which revealed Taylor's pattern of dishonesty offending.
One incident involved him snatching a wallet that had accidentally been left on a service station counter. He took a paywave card and went on to make three transactions.
Another saw a woman put her handbag on the roof of her vehicle when she parked outside a motel. Taylor biked past, grabbed the bag and biked off.
Judge Paul said Taylor broke into cars and stole paywave bank cards, in one such theft he went on to make transactions on a card valued at more than $6500.
He broke into a house on Rutland St while a man at the house left briefly to buy dinner. His wife was inside the home still. Taylor took a laptop and shoulder bag from the front entrance and door keys. Several bank cards were in the bag. He went on to use those cards.
"That was very serious offending because the wife was present."
Judge Paul said he hated to think what could have happened if the woman at the house had found him.
"You might have punched her out to get away."
Taylor also swiped a $900 nail gun from a man unloading his tools on Robinson Ave. The man chased Taylor, who was on a push bike, and managed to get the nail gun back, Judge Paul said.
He broke into another man's house and stole bank cards while he slept.
Taylor struck again on July 27 by stealing an iPod from a man who was working for Making A Wish Foundation outside Countdown. The man was distracted talking to someone when Taylor made his move.
"He was a man doing charity work and you steal his iPod."
Taylor also broke into a house while a woman was outside hanging out her washing and took money cards and a laptop, later going on to use the cards.
Judge Paul said Taylor targeted residential homes and at least three people were at home when he struck.
He said residential burglaries were to be treated seriously by the court because they left people with a feeling of violation that someone had been in their home, looking in their drawers and picking through their personal belongings.
"Often the homeowners no longer feel safe in their own homes and become paranoid, locking every door, every window. Innocent people shouldn't have to live in their communities feeling like that."
Judge Paul said a pre-sentence report showed he had some motivation to change but that waned. He was also kicked out of a rehab facility because of drug use.
"All of your offending has been driven by your addiction. You've done nothing seriously, in my view, to deal with that addiction."
A pre-sentence report said he had a rough upbringing involving violence and separation but he also told the report writer that his childhood was good. Even though he lived with his mother, who was a solo parent, she provided everything he needed, the judge said.
Judge Paul didn't order any reparation because "you will never be able to pay it".