Thieves steal car after driver leaves keys in the ignition

A GROUP of thieves seized the opportunity to steal a car when the driver left his keys in the ignition to dash to the ATM.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday, one of the men, Michael Shane Conroy, pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The 34-year-old and his two mates piled into the victim's car, which had been parked at a service station in Ipswich, and drove away.

The thieves made the daring robbery after they noticed the owner had left his keys in the vehicle's ignition while he was using the ATM.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said the offence took place on July 3, 2014 at about 8.40pm.

The vehicle was found about 20 minutes later, crashed and abandoned at the Wulkuraka Train Station.

The theft was captured on CCTV cameras.

Conroy and his mates were later found by police and charged.

The court heard that moments before they stole the car, Conroy and his friends also stole a wheelchair from the Ipswich Hospital.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said both of Conroy's co-offenders had already been dealt with in Magistrates Court.

Mr Fairclough said one of the men had received a suspended sentence while the other was placed on a community service order.

He said his client had not been the driver of the stolen vehicle.

Conroy was convicted and sentenced to 100 hours of community service to be completed within the year.


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