Neighbour heard van theft

WOKEN by the barking of a dog and the sound of what she believed to be her neighbour’s van being stolen, Gill Adams jumped into her car and gave chase.

The Tabulam woman gave evidence yesterday in Lismore Children’s Court against a 15-year-old youth charged with taking and driving a Nissan van at 1.05am on October 6 last year; and attempting to damage it by fire.

Ms Adams said she first heard a dog barking and then a ‘loud backfiring’ noise from a vehicle.

She immediately believed it to be a vehicle being stolen because she had lived in Tabulam for many years where such offences took place.

“By the time I got outside it had gone 30 metres,” she said.

Ms Adams said she followed its tail lights over the Tabulam Bridge then lost sight of it before later seeing it under moonlight stopped on top of an embankment beside the Bruxner Highway. She recognised it as belonging to her neighbour, Lenny Bloklaviand.

She drove home and woke her neighbour, but when they returned to the scene the van was down in a culvert.

Ms Adams said she saw a pile of dry grass near its door and dry grass clumps inside the van with ‘singe marks’ as if it had been set fire to.

The youth pleaded guilty to taking and driving the vehicle, but not guilty to attempting to damage property by fire.

Magistrate Jeff Linden found the teen not guilty of the second offence. The teen will be sentenced on July 22.



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