Tradie's swig of wine put investigators on right track
A TRADIE turned thief went into a family's house while still under construction and loaded up work tools and electrical household items.
The builder discovered the theft on arrival to work one morning and found doors open and a new electric clothes dryer left behind on the driveway.
The thief, a landscaper and father-of-six, Christopher James Williams, was eventually caught after he stole a $600 security camera in another theft.
Police linked DNA evidence left at the scene on a half-finished wine bottle to Williams in the first offence, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard.
Williams, 30, from Redbank Plains, pleaded guilty to entering premises and stealing at Bellbird Park in January 2016; and entering premises by break and stealing at Swanbank on September 14, 2017.
Police told the court the Bellbird Park house was under construction but locked up at the time.
The prosecutor gave a detailed account of all the items stolen, including a vacuum cleaner, drill set, coffee maker, nail gun and screwdrivers, stereo and an egg chair.
A bottle of muscat wine had been taken from inside and left half-consumed downstairs, leaving an all important clue for investigators.
In the Swanbank theft, Williams had broken into a wood-mulching business and staff later discovered items to have been moved, along with an open can of coke. A back door had been damaged and a security camera valued at $600 missing.
An examination of the scene identified Williams as the offender.
Defence lawyer Amy Little said Williams had six children and ran his own business.
He had past issues with methylamphetamine and admitted drinking alcohol excessively.
Magistrate Louise Shephard sentenced Williams to 12 months' probation on the first offence.
He was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid community service work on the second charge. He must pay $600 restitution for the stolen camera.