A surfer returning to his vehicle to change boards at The Pass car park at lunch time Saturday got a rude shock when he found his van open and a man searching through it.
The van owner managed to restrain the 36-year-old Queensland man until Byron Bay police arrived and arrested him.
Further investigations by police revealed the man to have been involved in a number offences including failing to pay for fuel at Newrybar and the theft of a Westpac Helicopter donation tin from a store in Brunswick Heads.
He was refused bail and appeared at Tweed Heads Court yesterday.
For stealing the donation tin the man was convicted and sentenced to two months’ jail, and ordered to pay $133 compensation. On two offences of failing to pay for petrol he was convicted and sentenced to four months’ jail and ordered to pay compensation of $151.03. On the offence of stealing property from the vehicle, he was sentenced to four months’ jail.