Teen avoids jail time over spree of car thefts, break-ins – Australia News

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A TEEN from Townsville has confessed to taking part in a 12-day crime spree which saw seven homes raided and four cars stolen across the Mackay region.

Mark Kelly Watson, originally from Wulguru and now living in Mackay, been released on probation and won’t serve any time behind bars for his crimes.

The 17-year-old, who’s also facing dozens of charges in Townsville and Mount Isa, broke into homes by jimmying back doors at night while he was on bail, a court was told.

While residents were sleeping, Watson and a number of co-accused burglars rummaged through their belongings and stole car keys, electronics, jewellery, bank cards, identification cards and cash.

In one instance, a military officer’s identification was taken.

It’s thought most of the items stolen were eventually returned to Watson’s 15 victims after police swooped on the teen and his co-accused.

Watson faced Mackay Magistrates Court on Monday via audio link from prison, where he’d spent 90 days before sentence.

He pleaded guilty to eight counts of entering a dwelling and committing an indictable offence and four counts of unlawfully using a vehicle between May 20 and June 1.

Watson also pleaded guilty to entering premises with intent, stealing, receiving tainted property and breaching bail.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Duncan Erskine said Watson should be jailed for the repeated thefts he inflicted on the Mackay community.

“Like I said, some four or five days after being in court on Townsville matters … he comes down to Mackay and within four or five days he’s committing these offences,” he said.

However, Mr Erskine conceded Watson’s young age and previously…

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