Thief ‘looking for football’

A MAN who was caught out breaking into two Wodonga homes told his surprised victims that he was simply “looking for my football”.

Shane Symons changed his defence when he was caught out during a third burglary when a woman came across him in her bedroom.

“Oh s..., where are the dogs?” he shot at her before quickly leaving the house.

There was no mistaking Magistrate John Murphy’s intention yesterday when Symons appeared before him in Wodonga Court.

Mr Murphy jailed Symons for three years, with a non-parole period of two years.

Symons had pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, burglary, theft, two counts of theft from a shop and theft from a motor vehicle.

Police told the court that Symons left his Melbourne Road, Wodonga, motel room — which he rented from Rural Housing Network — on February 3 at 2.20pm.

Symons walked to a nearby residence and knocked on the front door, but nobody answered.

He then opened the door and went inside with the intention of helping himself to some of the victim’s belongings.

Symons walked through the loungeroom and into the kitchen.

But at the same time, the victim left his bedroom to walk into the loungeroom. He saw Symons and asked “can I help you?”

Symons replied to say he kicked his football into the yard, but the victim couldn’t see the ball when he went outside.

But he didn’t leave it at that, returning two days later to again knock on the door.

On February 7, Symons got into a Mark Street, Wodonga, house through a bathroom window.

He searched drawers throughout the house and stole three gift cards valued at $300 and a $100 digital camera.

The next day he went to Myer in Albury and bought clothing valued at $98.80 using a $100 card.

On February 16, Symons stole a $40 pair of headphones from Officeworks in Wodonga and a T-shirt, cap and umbrella from BCF: Boating, Camping and Fishing, also in Wodonga.

Symons’ crime spree had started earlier in Royce Street, Wodonga, between 6pm on February 1 and 1.45am the next morning.

He broke into two unlocked cars owned by the one victim and stole $20 in coins and a Saint Christopher medal, which were later found dumped in bins below the balcony of his motel room.

Symons’ last break-in happened at a Mitchell Street house on February 17 at 9.25pm.

A 21-year-old woman was home alone when he knocked on the front door, again to no answer.

Symons walked around to the back of the house and entered through the unlocked back door.

He immediately started looking through drawers, only to be surprised by the woman.

The woman became distressed and started crying when she saw him the next day — Symons’ 34th birthday — walking down Lawrence Street.