Man stole $1600 from pub, repeatedly pinched bikes

A TWEED Heads man has avoided jail time after a string of petty crimes added up.

Stephen Thomas Clarke, 27, appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to 18 charges.

Court documents revealed on January 1, Clarke was found with a folding hunting knife in the front waistband of his shorts and eight tablets he did not have a prescription for as he was riding a bike on Kennedy Dr about 4.45am.

Clarke was captured on CCTV in the South Tweed Tavern just after 10pm on January 22 and took $1600 of cash from the bench above an unattended till.

On January 25, Clarke was once again found with a multi-tool knife with a 6cm blade and three tablets he did not have a prescription for in the Kennedy Dr Subway car park.

On March 7, he was involved in cutting a bike lock and stealing two bikes worth $1000 each from Tweed Coast Holiday Park on Dry Dock Rd in Tweed Heads South.

Clarke was seen on CCTV stealing a $500 apple iPad tablet by tucking it down the back of his shorts while a staff member at the Coles Express Service on Frances St, Tweed Heads was turned away on March 23.

He told police he gave the iPad to a friend in exchange for some weed.

Inside Clarke's unit, officers found two bikes which he claimed to have purchased for $50 each from a friend.

He stole separate bikes from The Tweed Hospital on April 4 and from outside Coolangatta McDonalds on May 3.

One of the bikes was recognised by a Coled employee when he entered the supermarket at Tweed Mall on May 10.

When police arrested him later the same day, he had $119.82 worth of items stolen from Coles along with cannabis, MDMA and methylamphetamine.

After Clarke took another bike from outside another McDonald's in Tweed Heads South on May 26, the owner of the bike spotted him on the street later that day.

After the owner followed him and asked for the bike back, Clarke asked him if he wanted to "get bashed over a bike?".

Clarke threatened to stab the owner, who was filming him.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy said Clarke's offending were unsophisticated and born from poverty rather than malice.

For the charges of not wearing a bike helmet and three counts of possessing prohibited drugs he was convicted and not further punished.

Clarke was re-sentenced for the three previous community corrections orders he breached in an aggregate sentence with the fresh charges.

Clarke was convicted and received an 12 month intensive corrections order with 100 hours of community service.



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