Bail refused for man accused of crime spree

A Berkeley man accused of going on a three-week break-and-enter crime spree last November has been refused bail for a third time.

Craig Douglas Thompson, of Berkeley, is alleged to have stolen everything from perfume to a Jaguar car when he broke into six homes around Wollongong between November 5 and November 23 last year.

Police allege Thompson conducted each of the break-and-enters in the early hours of the morning, often cutting or dislodging fly-screen doors and windows to gain access to the properties.

Once inside, it is alleged he collected dozens of items at each location, including laptops, wallets, handbags, credit cards and cash.

Police claim Thompson attacked an older couple during one break-in, throwing the 64-year-old woman against a wall and repeatedly punching the 66-year-old man in the jaw when they disturbed him stealing from their home.

He is also accused, in some cases, of stealing the homeowner's car to make his getaway.

Police claim Thompson then made a beeline for nearby service stations, using the stolen credit cards to buy items at several outlets over a period of 60 to 90 minutes.

He was caught on December 26 after police spotted him riding a pushbike at Fairy Meadow.

Thompson's legal aid solicitor, Nerissa Keay, told Wollongong Local Court yesterday that her client did have a job to go to if he was released on bail and his partner, who was present in the courtroom, was willing to post a $1500 bond to ensure he turned up at his next court appearance.

"He's willing to report to police daily and will comply with conditions of a curfew," Ms Keay said.

She noted the prosecutors were yet to deliver a full brief of evidence against Thompson.

There appeared to be scant details of what evidence they had to support police allegations of his crimes, she said.

However, Crown solicitor Kristy Spiers said the facts outlined several very serious allegations, and they also indicated that Thompson had been caught on CCTV footage.

"The court would have to be concerned for the safety of the community if the accused is released on bail," Ms Spiers said.

"He has a lengthy criminal history and has served jail terms before for break-and-enter offences."

Magistrate Doug Dick noted that Thompson was facing 43 charges.

And, given his extensive criminal record, he was likely to receive a custodial sentence if convicted.

He refused Thompson's bail request and ordered him to come before the court again on April 17 via video link.

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