Thief took off rego plates but didn't think about GPS
A WARWICK man may have taken off the registration plates and mud flaps from a trailer after he stole it from a hire company, but the GPS tracker ended up being his undoing.
At Warwick Magistrates Court, Nicholas James Le Lay pleaded guilty to one count of stealing after taking the trailer from U-Haul in April.
Police prosecutor Ken Wiggan said the trailer had been stolen from the Warwick company, but its GPS tracker showed its exact movements.
The court was told the trailer was moved from a service station to an address in Warwick, before moving to Allora and back to Warwick again.
Sgt Wiggan said police went to the property but Le Lay was not home, so they carried out an emergency search.
The officers found the trailer in the shed as well as a few items in the bin.
"In a bin they located stickers with mud flaps removed from trailer and registration plates,” Sgt Wiggan said.
The court was told the trailer had been fitted with new Queensland registration.
Le Lay admitted his crime to police but told them he planned to take the trailer back after he finished using it, Sgt Wiggan said.
The court was told the trailer had since been returned to U-Haul.
Le Lay, 34, told the court he wasn't thinking straight when he took the trailer, as he was going through a separation.
"I made a silly call on my behalf,” he said.
"I regret it majorly.
"I don't know why, to be honest, I did it.”
Le Lay said he was currently working casually to give him time to see his son.
Magistrate Robert Walker said Le Lay's crime was one of dishonesty as he had not made any attempt to hire the trailer.
While he told police he planned to return the trailer, his actions made it look like he wanted to keep it permanently, Mr Walker said.
"You crossed the line between silly behaviour and criminal behaviour,” Mr Walker said.
Mr Walker acknowledged Le Lay had been going through a tough time, but it was no excuse for his poor decision.
Noting Le Lay had no criminal history, Mr Walker said a fine would be appropriate.
Le Lay was ordered to pay a $1000 fine, which was referred to SPER.
The conviction was not recorded.