A 19-YEAR-OLD Biloela man who Magistrate Barbara Tynan described as having an "appalling history" narrowly missed a jail term when he appeared in the Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday.
Travis Edward Riggs faced five theft charges, was sentenced to a three-month suspended prison sentence, and was ordered to pay restitution of $274.84 by Friday or spend 10 days in jail.
The court heard Riggs had stolen petrol worth $100.05 from a truck stop near Sarina on October 15, petrol worth $104.69 from a service station on the highway between Charters Towers and Emerald the following day, a mobile phone worth $848 from a Telstra store in Gladstone on November 12, and more petrol, worth $28.10, from a Biloela service station on November 16.
He also stole a bottle of spirits worth $42 from a bottle store in Gladstone on December 26.
In the case of the petrol thefts, the court was told Riggs stayed in the driver's seat while a passenger filled the car's fuel tank before they drove off without paying.
The mobile phone was handed in to Biloela police two days after it had been stolen, and it has been returned to the Telstra store.
Lawyer Jun Pepito told the court Riggs was currently seeking work, to which the magistrate retorted: "He's been too busy to seek work. He's been too busy out stealing.
"The man's a thief."
When sentencing Riggs, Ms Tynan told him his history was appalling.
"You can't just go on and on thieving from people - people who are working to earn their money while you're thieving from them," she said.