Getaway car theft puts people at risk
A CALOUNDRA man who drove a stolen four-wheel-drive through a closed garage door while on the run from police was jailed yesterday for 10 months.
Gympie Magistrates Court heard that a police officer jumped out of the way as Shannon Leigh Salter, 20, smashed a BMW X5 through the garage door of a home on Cooloola Dr at Rainbow Beach on April 15 before speeding off down the road.
The dangerous getaway happened after Salter awoke to the sound of police searching the house.
The court heard Salter started the car and crashed out of the garage before running it into another car parked in the driveway.
He then sped down Cooloola Dr, which Gympie police prosecutor Sergeant Lisa Manns said was a road frequented by pedestrians, including children.
"(He was) driving along a very populated main road," Sgt Manns told the court.
The dangerous operation offence was the final and most serious of a string of other charges relating to the stolen BMW - found torched on the side of the road near Tiaro - which were dealt with in Caboolture Magistrates Court on May 15.
The court heard Salter's previous convictions included assault or obstruct police and trespass as well as a two-month jail sentence for stealing a vehicle.
The court also heard his criminal history included a conviction for robbery with actual violence, for which he was sentenced in the Maroochydore District Court.
Magistrate M Baldwin said Salter's driving on April 15 was "potentially fatal".
Salter was sentenced to 10 months' jail, with a parole release date of October 11, and disqualified from driving for 10 months.