A Koonawarra man stole nearly $40,000 worth of cigarettes after he broke into a Woolworths store and service station, a court has heard.
Glenn Wheeler, 46, was refused bail on Monday in Wollongong Local Court after police eventually found him following a warrant being issued for his arrest.
Documents tendered to court said Wheeler allegedly got onto the top of the roof of Dapto Mall on April 2, about 9.40pm, and got into the roof cavity by removing screws and cutting through insulation.
Wheeler then allegedly fastened a green ratchet strap to a metal beam within the roof cavity of Woolworths and lowered himself down, damaging shelving, before he pried open the locked cigarette cabinet inside the closed store.
He allegedly stole about 40 cartons of various cigarettes worth more than $26,000 before carrying them in a doona cover as he exited the shop through an emergency exit, leaving behind the ratchet strap.
DNA from the strap allegedly matched Wheeler.
Eight days later, Wheeler allegedly broke into a Caltex service station at Albion Park by smashing a hole in the exterior wall of an interior bathroom before he cut the alarm wires.
Wheeler allegedly opened the cigarette cabinet with keys and put nearly $13,000 worth of cigarettes into a sheet before he left.
The six-minute incident was captured on CCTV and police allege the description of the man matched Wheeler.
Police also allege Wheeler attempted to break into the Caltex service station in Dapto on March 30 then again a few hours later but was unable to gain access on both occasions.
Police claim Wheeler fit the description of the man captured on security cameras near the premises.
Police executed a search warrant at Wheeler's home on April 16 where two cigarette cartons were discovered.
A warrant for his arrest was issued on April 23 as police were unable to find him. He was arrested over the weekend.
Wheeler was charged with four counts of stealing after breaking and entering a dwelling.
In court on Monday, defence lawyer Stewart Holt said Wheeler could live with his son and wanted to be at liberty as his father had a terminal cancer diagnosis.
Magistrate Susan McGowan refused to grant bail noting Wheeler was on parole for a similar offence, the prosecution case appeared strong and a custodial sentence was likely if convicted due to his lengthy criminal record.
The case was adjourned to May 18.
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