Thief's trolley dash with lawnmower, leafblower and chainsaw

A LIGHT-FINGERED DIY tradesman loaded his trolley with $4000 in power tools in a clumsy theft attempt at Bunnings Warehouse, a court has heard.

The thief, who even shoe-horned a lawn mower into the trolley, was nabbed by staff before he could get away.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard it was not the first time Casey Downes had been caught stealing.

Downes, 37, a roofer, pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing; stealing after a previous conviction; and fraud by dishonestly gaining benefit.

In facts put before the court by prosecutor, Acting Sergeant Bernard Elmore, Downes walked into the Bunnings Warehouse at Oxley on January 6 and piled $2085 in power tools onto a trolley.

Downes added a $1199 four-stroke lawnmower to the pile, as well as a leaf blower, and a $649 chainsaw. Two Bunnings staff intercepted him as he attempted to leave.

He also stole groceries from Woolworths Springfield earlier the same day, in addition to Bundaberg Rum from a Dan Murphy's liquor store at Redbank Plains on October 17 last year.

Sgt Elmore said Downes was sentenced to a six-month jail term with immediate parole for a previous fraud offence at Inala Cash Converters.

"He has a long standing criminal history for violating people's property rights," Sgt Elmore said.

Police sought a nine-month jail term with immediate parole for the new offences.

Defence lawyer Amy Zanders said at the time of these offences Downes was going through a relationship breakdown and returned to taking drugs.

She said he was using heroin and drinking alcohol, and was unable to pay for the items he took.

"He has not offended since January and is intent to stay on the straight and narrow," Ms Zanders said.

She said he was now receiving help with his personal problems. Magistrate Donna MacCallum said he had previous convictions for dishonesty and drug offences.

"I suppose drugs to some extent are a choice. You made the choice," Ms MacCallum said.

"You are old enough to know better and should behave like an adult, not like a spoiled child when things don't go your way."

Ms MacCallum noted his steps with a program to assist him along with therapies but his history showed he'd been given previous opportunities by the court.

Downes was convicted and sentenced to eight months' jail, with immediate parole.