Ballarat man breaks into local supermarkets, steals $6700 worth of cigarettes, jailed

A 26-year-old man who broke into a number of supermarkets across the region armed with an axe and took off with thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes has been jailed.

Damien Gallagher appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday.

He pleaded guilty to a string of charges including burglary.

The court heard Gallagher broke into four separate supermarkets between March and July, stealing more than $6500 worth of cigarettes.

On one occasion Gallagher, who was wearing a balaclava and dish-washing gloves, and armed with an axe and polka dot carry bag, jemmied the front door and stole $1200 worth of cigarettes. 

On another occasion he smashed his way through glass doors and walked out with $4500 worth of cigarettes.

During separate evenings in July, Gallagher broke into the Ballarat and Buninyong Golf Clubs.

Police arrived to hear banging coming from the office room and observed the Gallagher with an axe.

The total value of stolen property is estimated at $15,000 and $5000 in damages to the buildings, of which all were closed.

Magistrate Franz Johann Holzer sentenced Gallagher to one year and two months jail with a non-parole period of eight months.

He was also disqualified from driving for three months.

Gallagher has already served 92 days of his sentence.