Drunk decision to steal guns from Wodonga Mitre 10 and taser cops was a fail

INVESTIGATION: Police were called to Wodonga Mitre 10 on November 30 after the attempted gun theft.
INVESTIGATION: Police were called to Wodonga Mitre 10 on November 30 after the attempted gun theft.

A thief who described himself as “stupid” after botching a gun burglary at Mitre 10 and firing a mobile phone taser at police will spend 10 months in jail.

Justin Austin and a friend had been drinking for about 15 hours when they broke into Wodonga Mitre 10 about 3am on November 30.

When they broke into the office, they found a gun safe.

Prosecutor David Cordy told Wodonga County Court this week there were five firearms worth about $12,000 in the safe.

The thieves dragged the gun safe downstairs and used a trolley to wheel it to the locked gate, but didn’t have a plan on what to do next.

When Austin was confronted by police, he fired the homemade taser then ran away.

Mr Cordy said this was the first he had heard of a weapon being constructed out of a mobile phone.

“The accused and co-accused in this matter had been zapping each other with it,” he said.

“Apparently it’s not very effective.”

Austin told police when arrested he was drunk and needed to get rehabilitation.

“I hadn’t thought about the next 30 seconds, let alone what we were going to do with (the guns) in days to come. It was just a stupid, spur of the moment decision,” he said.

Judge Bill Stuart sentenced Austin to 10 months in jail after the guilty plea, plus a three-year community corrections order on his release which would focus on alcohol and mental health treatment.

“You’ve been a pest in the streets, you’ve been a pest in the courts … It’s time you, at the age of 31, get your act together so you can look after your family instead of going on these stupid drinking binges,” he said.

“I’m giving you a chance Mr Austin. You’ve had chances before, don’t mess this one up.”