A station wagon taken from a TasRail depot in Newstead was just one of several motor vehicles a notorious thief stole from innocent members of the public during one of his latest crime sprees.
Ricky Lee Smith-Towns, 28, of Ravenswood, initially lied to police who found him standing in front of the stolen car last month.
He said he didn't know the vehicle had been stolen on January 4 and that it had been collected from a mate who lived nearby.
IN OTHER NEWS
Details of Smith-Towns crime spree emerged during a pre-sentencing hearing at Launceston Magistrates Court.
GPS technology attached to the TasRail vehicle led police to Smith-Towns, who pleaded guilty to stealing the motor vehicle.
On August 1 last year he also stole a man's Ford Courier from Ravenswood. Five days later Smith-Towns took a Nissan Navara. In both cases DNA belonging to Smith-Towns was found on the steering wheels of both vehicles.
After a short stint in jail, Smith-Towns stole another car from Evandale in November.
He and another man were involved in the theft of 150 packets of cigarettes from an IGA store in Longford on November 26.
On January 19 this year Smith-Towns was caught on CCTV trying to steal a Toyota Landcruiser from the Queens Arms Hotel in Longford.
When Smith was later caught in the roof of a vacant unit in Ravenswood, he told police he only went inside to use the toilet.
A pink tomahawk, two knives, black backpack, face covering and glove were found his possession.
Smith-Towns pleaded guilty to a string of burglary and motor vehicle theft charges.
The court heard he'd been using illicit drugs since he was in his early 20s.
Magistrate Simon Brown requested Smith-Towns be assessed to see if he would be eligible for a drug treatment order.
April 16 was set as the sentencing date.