12 months jail for Wodonga Christmas 'grinch'

James Strauss was today sentenced to 12 months jail.
James Strauss was today sentenced to 12 months jail.

THE Albury youth charged over the Wodonga Christmas burglaries has been sentenced to 12 months detention in a youth justice centre.

James Lawrence Strauss, 18, of Springdale Heights, today pleaded guilty to two further charges of stealing presents from a Hartwig Road home and breaking into the Erotic Nights adult store in High Street, Wodonga, on December 21.

Strauss had previously appeared in the Wodonga Magistrates Court on January 9 after he was arrested at his Springdale Heights home on January 7.

At that hearing, he pleaded guilty to breaking into a Wilca Way home early on Christmas morning and stealing presents valued at $8300.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing a car from Elgas in Thomas Mitchell Drive, Wodonga.

Police found the Hyundai Excel parked in the street next to Strauss' Springdale Heights home when they arrested him on January 7.

Magistrate John Murphy had previously said the Christmas burglaries were a "low, miserable act".

At the January 9 hearing, Strauss' solicitor Greg Duncan said his client had stolen the presents to fuel his ice and cannabis habit.