Drug debt led to break-ins

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By CAM LUCADOU-WELLS

A MAN accused of “prolifically” stealing and breaking into cars in secure underground car parks in Dandenong has been refused bail.
Julio Martins had told police he had no other means of repaying a $4000 drug debt, according to a police summary tendered to a court hearing on Monday 21 September.
Martins allegedly made full admissions to stealing a car after jemmying a door to an apartment’s underground car park on Cheltenham Road, Dandenong, about 4am on 26 August.
The applicant allegedly found a 1985 red Mazda RX7 with a wound-down driver’s side window and used a sensor found inside the vehicle to open the car park gate.
The car was then pushed out onto the street and towed using rope to Martins’s Dandenong address where it was recovered by police that day.
At the time, Martins was on bail and a night curfew for 40 other charges, including burglaries, car thefts, car break-ins and thefts from vehicles since February.
He had also failed to appear in court on 15 July on charges of car stealing, handling stolen goods, unlicensed driving and cultivating and possessing cannabis.
On 13 August, Martins and two-accused were also allegedly involved in an assault and robbery of a victim seeking rent arrears.
Martins denied being involved in the assault but admitted stealing the victim’s bike, according to the police summary.
The applicant has also been charged with 10 car break-ins in secure apartments’ car parks in Dandenong, Clayton, Oakleigh, Highett and Notting Hill between May and July.
Among the stolen goods were a $15,000 VW Golf, four bikes of total value $12,000 as well as cash, credit cards and personal papers.
He was also charged with stealing number plates from four vehicles parked at Dandenong Plaza, Yarraman railway station, Prahran and Clayton in June and July, and handling stolen car service books stolen from Crown Casino car park on 18 July.
Magistrate Jack Vandersteen said Martins was refused bail because of his “prolific” offending while on “strenuous” bail conditions.
“The offences aren’t the worst I’ve seen, but they’re significant enough.”
Martins was remanded to appear at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 19 October.

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