Tool thief who caused big loss to builder sentenced to house arrest

A thief who caused a trader thousands of dollars in losses has been sentenced to house arrest. Photo / 123RF

A thief who cost a builder thousands of dollars in tools and lost time nodded quietly in court in acknowledgment of the harm caused.

Jacob Harmon narrowly avoided being sent to jail today, instead he was ordered to serve his sentence locked up in his home.

The 28-year-old previously admitted charges of receiving stolen chainsaws, stealing tools, two charges of unlawfully entering a vehicle and possession of cannabis.

The offense happened in April and May this year, Nelson District Court heard.

He also heard about events in Harmon’s life that could explain the trajectory he found himself on, and while that’s no excuse for his offending, Judge Tony Zohrab said he had provided an explanation as to why he was back in court.

He said one of the main reasons people were stealing was because of people like Harmon who were willing to receive stolen goods, like the chainsaws he received in April this year.

“People get really upset when they work hard, buy a chainsaw and it gets stolen,” Judge Zohrab said.

He told Harmon, who nodded quietly on the dock, that the construction contractor he stole more than $5,000 worth of tools from his vehicle not only had to bear the cost of replacing them, but had wasted a whole day’s work doing it. .

“He lost 10 to 12 hours of work.

“It took away the ability to earn a living and earn money that would have been better spent on his family,” Judge Zohrab said.

He said Harmon’s behavior, including his interference with vehicles, had “grossly inconvenienced” people.

Judge Zohrab added that it was unclear why he did so, but noted that he had already appeared in court and was sentenced to prison in 2017.

He said a starting point for the offense “batch of work” this time was two years and three months in prison, but Harmon was recognized for his early guilty pleas and the problems in his life that had contributed to his offence.

This brought the sentence down to the limit of house arrest, to which Harmon was sentenced to seven months, with special conditions.

He was also ordered to follow counseling to address drug abuse issues.

“I know you have a lot of issues and want to do something about them.

“I encourage you to sort out your cannabis problem and rather than talk about it, make sure you do it,” Judge Zohrab told him.

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