A young man has been "caught red-handed" after he stole almost $12,000 worth of bikes and power tools from an East Corrimal garage, a court heard.
Nathan Hall, 19, appeared in Wollongong Local Court on Monday where he was granted bail over break and enter charges.
Documents tendered to court said Hall and another man allegedly fiddled with the lock of a security door on a detached garage at a home in Dobbie Avenue, East Corrimal about 4am on Monday.
Police alleged Hall entered before he stole power and hand tools along with two expensive push bikes, with a total value of $11,900.
Police further allege Hall was seen on CCTV footage opening a side gate of a home in Aldridge Street in East Corrimal about 3.30am the same morning.
Officers were notified the men had been seen riding along Railway Street near a chemist shortly before 6am.
Multiple police cars went to the scene and allegedly sighted Hall riding one of the stolen bicycles.
Upon noticing the police, Hall allegedly rode in the opposite direction away from officers, who initiated a foot pursuit.
Hall continued down a path where police momentarily lost sight of him.
Officers found him allegedly attempting to open a locked door of a home on Hapgood Street, Bellambi before he jumped over the wooden panelling and entered the home.
Police knocked on the front door and the homeowner allowed them to enter.
Officers found Hall in a bathroom. He had allegedly tried to hide the tools behind a lounge and dumped the bike in the rear of the yard.
Hall was arrested and taken to Wollongong Police Station where he said he had previously taken four or five Zanex tablets. He was charged with break, enter and steal and entering a building with the intent to commit an indictable offence.
In court yesterday, police prosecutor Sergeant Lisa Argent said Hall had a criminal history of dishonesty offences and the case against him was strong. Defence lawyer Greg Melrose said Hall had a problem with the prescription drug Zanex but had ties to the local community.
Magistrate Claire Girotto said based on the police documents, Hall had been "caught red-handed".
Hall, who appeared via audiovisual link from a Wollongong cell, told her the victims "got everything back".
However, Magistrate Girotto said that only occurred because the victims were "lucky" police had found him, not because he felt guilty and returned the items.
She encouraged him to "sort his life out" as he was only young.
Hall must abide by a night-time curfew, live with his grandmother in Thirroul and report to police while on bail. The case was adjourned to October 25.
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