Crime spree guilty pleas

February 21, 2017 | By More

David Ronald Cribb’s drug-fuelled victimisation of Halswell residents has ended in spectacular fashion with 43 guilty pleas at the Christchurch District Court.

Cribb, a 24-year-old painter from Halswell, told police he carried out the thefts from parked cars in driveways at night last year to pay for his $100-plus-a-day drugs habit.

He admitted a total of 43 charges: 39 thefts, one receiving, one of obtaining goods by deception, and one of unlawfully taking a car.

About 50 more charges were withdrawn after agreement between the police and defence counsel Carol Morgan.

Judge Sharon McAuslan remanded Cribb in custody for sentencing on May 3. A pre-sentence report will be prepared, and Cribb may meet his long list of victims at a restorative justice meeting.

Before half the charges were withdrawn, Cribb’s offending amounted to $140,000, but one of the offences police dropped today was the theft of $78,000 of power tools and laser levels from City Care.

Even so, the remaining thefts involve goods worth thousands of dollars.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Iain Patton said police noticed an increase in complaints about thefts from cars in Halswell in May 2016. Cars parked in driveways overnight were being raided.

On May 30, Cribb began visiting service stations wearing a disguise of reading glasses and a woman’s puffer jacket. He used a stolen bank card to buy 12 packets of tobacco worth $78 each.

The offending continued into June, with 15 cars broken into in Patterson Terrace alone on June 5.

Cribb then moved his crime spree into greater Christchurch where mainly tradesmen’s vehicles were broken into, and power tools were stolen.

Cribb and his associates then began visiting pawn shops to sell the items. They made 25 sales, but the goods were later recovered from the shops. On July 25, Cribb was found in a pawn shop in Ferry Road, trying to make another sale.

More stolen items were found at his home when the police searched it, and they also found the reading glasses and puffer jacket he had used as a disguise.

Cribb was released on bail after his arrest, but did not return to court and in September he took a wallet from a vehicle in a driveway and then used a bank card to fill a car he had unlawfully taken, with diesel, and to buy cigarettes and drink, totalling $64.

Soon after that he was found unconscious in the car he had taken, and was taken to Christchurch Hospital.

He has been in custody for five months since then, and remains in custody for his sentencing.


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Category: Focus

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