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Thief gets released after 43 days behind bars

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February 06, 2018

A MAGISTRATE has warned an Echuca woman she will be the first suspect if more thefts from cars happen in town once she is released from prison.

A MAGISTRATE has warned an Echuca woman she will be the first suspect if more thefts from cars happen in town once she is released from prison.

Ada Cooper, 30, appeared, via videolink from the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, in Echuca Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

She was charged with five counts of theft, four counts of attempt to commit an indictable offence, dealing with proceeds of crime and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Defence lawyer Julie Buxton asked magistrate John Murphy for a sentencing indication before she proceeded with a plea.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Rachael Hitchens told the court on October 20, Cooper entered vehicles in Echuca.

‘‘The accused was observed by police in Oscar Place and was searched,’’ she said.

‘‘Located was a container with coins, phone chargers, two iPods, a lighter and an MP3 charger.

‘‘Other residents contacted police reporting someone had gone through their cars overnight.’’

The court heard Cooper had stolen $100 from another car the same night.

‘‘The accused was interviewed by police and admitted to entering two cars and she gave a vague and unconvincing explanation,’’ Snr Constable Hitchens said.

‘‘On December 16 at 3.30pm, the accused entered another car and stole a wallet with the contents around $300.

‘‘December 18 on the Northern Hwy she stole a Garmin GPS and Pandora bracelet from another car.

‘‘This was worth $2230.’’

The court heard a witness saw her steal another GPS from a different car on the Northern Hwy valued at $300.

She was arrested on December 19 and has been in custody ever since.

‘‘Every time a car is broken into in Echuca she will be the number one suspect,’’ Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy said if he was to let her out, she must connect with Njernda and pastor Joe Day.

‘‘You need to do what he says,’’ he said.

‘‘He doesn’t take any trouble.

‘‘I will sentence you to the time you have already served if you plead guilty.’’

Ms Buxton agreed to proceed with the plea of guilty on all charges.

Cooper was convicted and sentenced to 43 days imprisonment and arrangements were made for her to be released from prison.

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