‘It has to stop’: Woman jailed for stealing from cars

A 27-year-old drug user who loitered around parked cars late at night before stealing from them has been sentenced to jail.

Ballarat’s Bobby Jo Hunter cried in the Ballarat Magistrates Court dock on Wednesday as she was sentenced to three months behind bars.

Magistrate Gregory Robinson told Hunter thefts from cars impacted the community.

“It has a big impact on the community to know there are people out and about in the dead of the night committing crimes,” Mr Robinson said.

“This type of behaviour has been going on for a decade – most of your life – and it has to stop and if it doesn’t you are facing a long term of imprisonment.

“It’s frightening for people in the community to have people wandering around the dead of the night.

“It makes it an unpleasant place to live to have people stealing things at night.”

The court was told Hunter stole $4 from a parked car in a Sebastopol court after CCTV footage from a house showed her loitering in the area on April 23 at 1am.

Ten minutes later, footage showed the mother-of-one carrying a hand bag while she tried to open another car.

Between April 21 and 23 Hunter stole about $300 worth of items from a Beverin Street parked car.

On April 28 at 11pm, a victim saw her loitering in Redan’s Pleasant Street but she ran away when he approached her.

Police later arrested Hunter, who was found with $50 and a gram of cannabis.

Defence lawyer David Tamanika urged the court to impose a community corrections order, saying his client had broken the criminal cycle before.

He said there was six years straight where Hunter did not offend but “old issues crept back in”.

“(She) failed to control some aspects of her life,” Mr Tamanika said.

Mr Tamanika said Hunter was a strong candidate for a CCO, despite breaching an order twice in 2017.

Mr Robinson sentenced Hunter to a combination of jail time and a CCO.

On top of her jail sentence, Hunter was ordered to complete a 24-month community corrections order. She has already served 17 days in custody.