'PERSISTEN THEFT': Gary John Spence walks from Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday.
'PERSISTEN THEFT': Gary John Spence walks from Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday. Arthur Gorrie

Wolvi theft haul was over $20k

A WOLVI burglar stole well over $20,000 worth of tools, machinery, weapons, fuel and other items from a next door neighbour and forestry contractors in the nearby Toolara forest.

Gary John Spence, 36, will have a year's suspended jail hanging over his head for three years after being sentenced in Gympie Magistrates Court on Thursday.

And he will have to pay $19,260 restitution within six months to avoid a further four months in prison.

Police said the restitution order only covered unrecovered items that could not be returned.

Other stolen items included a gun, 80-100 litres of fuel, radios, spotlights, batteries, clothing and ammunition.

The "systematic offences" involved significant cost.

Spence's solicitor told the court Spence admitted the offences and had had serious family problems.

He said the offences were "persistent but opportunistic" in circumstances such as seeing an opportunity when he was in the forestry swimming in waterholes.

Magistrate Ross Woodford said the charges involved "serious property offences".

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