Robin Blank faced Ipswich Magistrates Court with more than 100 offences to his name. Picture: File
Robin Blank faced Ipswich Magistrates Court with more than 100 offences to his name. Picture: File

Prolific thief punished for more than 100 offences

A THIEF with a serious penchant for taking other people's stuff has been sentenced by an Ipswich court for more than 100 offences.

It included dozens of charges for stealing that police prosecutor Jack Scott said were committed in 50 days within two years.

In one incident Robin Blank was found wearing a snow jacket with its price tag attached.

He was charged with being in unlawful possession of suspected stolen goods.

A man in One Mile called the police after a man with a torch at 10pm stole a fish tank from his patio and walk off down the driveway.

Mr Scott said that while many charges could be described as nuisance offending, the sheer number of offences done by Blank made it persistent and serious.

He said police calculated that the value of stolen property was $1900.

Appearing from the police watch-house via video-link before Ipswich Magistrates Court, the offender Robin Vena Blank, 32, pleaded guilty to 103 charges that included 29 for stealing; 11 counts of stealing with previous conviction; four counts of burglary/enter premises; 13 counts of trespass; five counts of possession of dangerous drugs; six counts of unlawful possession of suspected stolen property; assault; two counts of driving when unlicensed; four counts of being in possession of a knife in public; five counts of failing to appear at court; two counts of obstructing police; and contravening a probation order.

Mr Scott said the offences were mostly opportunistic but the burglaries show an escalation in Blank's offending.

Police sought a jail penalty of between 12 and 15 months with immediate parole due to the 87 days he'd already served.

Blank's stealing offences include taking a pressure washer from a yard in One Mile in August last year, stealing two Guess wallets valued at $178 from Strandbags in Booval, a $128 Star Wars backpack, items from a chemist store, clothes from Best and Less, stealing knives, a foldaway hair dryer and multi-tools from BCF Riverlink, stealing an auto polisher and buffer from Aldi Booval, taking two Bluetooth speakers from Officeworks Ipswich, stealing a $60 snow jacket from Aldi, taking a lawnmower from a yard, a $99 gel blaster from an Ipswich toy store, a microphone from Cash Converters, four toy cars worth $51 from Coles, a fish tank, two prepaid mobile phones worth $120, sunglasses and a souvenir clock, and attempting to steal a bicycle.

When caught stealing by staff in a toy store Blank pushed an attendant and during a brief struggle both fell to the floor.

The attendant told police he felt pain to his jaw at the time.

Blank was charged with assault.

Defence lawyer Bill Leather tended psychological and psychiatric reports and a medical report detailing Blank's ongoing health issues.

He said Blank's drug use had spiralled out of control and he lived a chaotic lifestyle with no close mentors to assist him.

His affairs were looked after by the Public Trustee.

Mr Leather said Blank stole items like the lawnmower to then sell for money to buy drugs.

He said that because of his health issues the concern was what could be done with him as it was not conducive to keep him in jail.

Magistrate Andy Cridland sentenced him to six months jail for the assault charge; and to 15 months jail for the burglaries.

He was given immediate parole but must do urine tests for drugs.

Blank's smiling face showed he was clearly pleased by the outcome.

"I've changed my ways, your honour," Blank said.

"This has taught me a big lesson. What is right and wrong."

Read more stories by Ross Irby here.

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