Men grab $17K in jewelry, ransack home

A COUPLE about to jet of overseas to holiday in Fiji had their trip torpedoed when thieves ransacked their home just hours before departure.

In what was a planned hit by recidivist burglar Trevor Bettiens and a mate, over $17,000 worth of jewellery and items were grabbed including Fijian currency from the Gracemere house.

Bettiens, a heavy drug user, is no stranger to Central Queensland courts for his ongoing stealing offences and long stints in jail over the past decade.

Magistrate Jeffrey Clarke told the thief that "your antecedents are quite frankly, terrible".

Now aged 39, Bettiens was told by Mr Clarke in a video link between the Gladstone and Rockhampton courts that he hoped his words to the court that he would not reoffend were genuine.

Mr Clarke sentenced him to the maximum penalty of three years jail.

In his decision Mr Clarke took into account 196 days Bettiens had now spent in jail, some in remand for these offences, and set a parole eligibility date of August 1.

It will be up to the parole board then to decide his release.

Bettiens pleaded guilty to stealing property from a Gracemere house on May 6 last year; stealing an iPad and bag from a house in Emu Park on April 28; possession of tainted property found in his car on May 6; and driving unlicensed.

Prosecutor Sgt Sean Franklin said that at the time Bettiens was out of jail on parole about seven weeks.

Sgt Franklin said when police stopped the Commodore Bettiens was driving they found jewellery and the iPad which he was unable to lock, claiming it all "may have belonged to his deceased mother".

Money found on him had been converted at a bank from the stolen Fijian currency.

He said Bettiens broke into the Gracemere house when the owners were out and stole jewellery and $500 worth of Fijian currency.

Sgt Franklin said the couple returned home to find it ransacked and had to cancel their Fijian flights and holiday.

He later admitted doing the burglary with others.

Lawyer Brian McGowan said Bettiens now understood he was drug addicted and his drug abuse was a merry-go-round because he would offend and end up in jail.

Bettiens father, a long distance truck driver, was willing to have his son work for him to keep him occupied and not hanging around.

Mr Clarke said his offences had been persistent and Bettiens had "a lengthy and quite troubling criminal history" going in and out of prison.

"You told police the house was cased so the burglary was planned," he said.

"You were intercepted by police. Your finger prints were at the point of entry and you continued to lie."

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