18 months added to man’s sentence

Tony Robertson
Tony Robertson
A career burglar with nearly 100 convictions to his name has been jailed for 18 months for two pharmacy break-ins.

Tony Charles Robertson’s sentence was added to a term of three years he was already serving for a spate of similar crimes in mid-2018.

The 34-year-old’s two pharmacy hits on the same day had wildly different methods — and results — the Dunedin District Court heard last week.

In the first, Robertson and a co-defendant who will be sentenced in May, parked behind Balmac Pharmacy after circling the area several times on June 2, 2018.

Although it was lunchtime on a Saturday, it was quieter than usual because it was Queen’s Birthday weekend.

When the pair were satisfied they would not be seen, the co-defendant jemmied open the padlock to the cellar door.

The passageway was directly below the dispensary but they scarpered when they realised they had triggered an alarm.

Just hours later, the pair had another crack.

This time, they targeted Mornington Pharmacy — just 4km from the location of their previous failed attempt.

Robertson’s accomplice climbed on to the roof of the Eglinton Rd property and carefully removed a solar dome to gain access to the ceiling cavity of the building.

After getting his bearings, the man covered a motion sensor with a piece of insulation and forced his way down into the pharmacy.

After gathering an array of pharmaceuticals — worth $3700 — he called Robertson who picked him up early on June 3.

Just over a week later, police executed a search warrant at the co-defendant’s Stafford St home where they found three-quarters of the stolen medication.

The two burglaries took Robertson’s running total to 40 such offences.

In his previous crime spree, he stole alloy wheels, a rifle, ammunition, a motorbike and a $17,000 jet ski.

Judge Kevin Phillips said Robertson’s dishonesty was fuelled by an "out-of-control drug habit".

The defendant owed previous victims more than $29,000 and the judge said adding the $1869 from his most recent crimes to that total was pointless.

"There’s a total impossibility of it ever being paid," he said.

Robertson is expected to be seen by the Parole Board imminently.

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