A Wagga man has been jailed for at least eight months for breaking into three vehicles and setting two of them on fire.
Corey Whitmore, aged 26, previously residing in Wilks Park and homeless accommodation, appeared in Wagga Local court on Wednesday via video link from Junee Correctional Centre.
Whitmore pleaded guilty to multiple charges damage or destroy property by fire and damage or destroy property with value greater than $2000.
Fires set by Whitmore in the early hours of October 1 destroyed a Toyota Camry belonging to the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and a Ford Ranger belonging to Transport for NSW.
The fires left a replacement cost of at least $60,000 without factoring in the heat damage to nearby vehicles.
Whitmore also smashed the windscreen of an Isuzu NNR light truck belonging to the Salvation Army and rummaged through the cabin for items to steal.
Whitmore's solicitor told the court that his client's actions had left "a very serious quantum of damage" but he had drug and alcohol problems and had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as a 10-year-old, and later anxiety and depression.
Magistrate Christopher Halburd said he accepted Whitmore had experienced social disadvantage as a child.
"Transport for NSW is charged with keeping everyone safe on the road, MLHD works to keep us all safe during the pandemic, and the Salvation Army's work goes without saying," Magistrate Halburd said.
"[Whitmore] has gone from car to car, breaking in and then setting fires to cover his tracks."
An accepted statement of facts said Whitmore and another male attended the MLHD and Transport for NSW car yard on Morgan Street at 1.30am, climbed the fence and smashed the car windows with a large metal crowbar and stole two water bottles.
Whitmore then attended a Salvation Army car park and broke into a truck before returning to Morgan Street to set fire to two vehicles.
A police patrol in central Wagga at 7.30am on October 4 spotted Whitmore wearing the same clothing as in the car yard CCTV footage and arrested him.
Whitmore was unemployed at the time of his arrest, had three prior charges for larceny and assault, and was taken into custody on December 2 for breaching bail.
Magistrate Halburd said the only appropriate measure was jail and sentenced Whitmore to 15 months' imprisonment, with a non-parole period to expire on August 1 and an 18-month Community Corrections Order to serve upon release.
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