He was looking for some used car parts so the homeless yet still employed motor mechanic went to an Albury smash repairs yard.
But it was 4.20am, on January 8, and Nathan Peter Coleman had come otherwise prepared.
After pulling up in his Mazda CX-5, the 30-year-old put on a head torch, got out a pair of pliers and began cutting the wire fence on the southern perimeter of the Albury Auto Repairs holding yard.
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Nothing took his fancy among the dozens of car wrecks, so he took off - out of the yard and across the Hume Freeway.
That came not long after his movements activated a security camera, Albury Local Court heard on Monday, that led to the business owner arriving to investigate.
But rather than just disappearing into the night, not to return, Coleman did just that.
Two hours and 40 minutes after his break-in, Coleman arrived back at the yard at 7.30am and spoke to the owner, who in turn called police.
That was the second time police got involved, having arrived at the scene soon after Coleman fled about 5am.
His car was still parked out front and inside that was his mobile phone and wallet and, inside that, some identification.
A black balaclava and two car batteries were found nearby on the ground.
Coleman later admitted to police cutting the fence and when asked why he had a torch replied: "It was dark."
The break-in was about having "a snoop" and, when pushed further by police, he said he "went looking for a car part but didn't find anything".
Coleman pleaded guilty to destroy or damage property, enter enclosed lands and an unrelated driving charge.
He will be sentenced on February 3.