GPS on stolen bike led police to home of serial thief

A THIEF with a lust for bicycles was found in possession of stolen bikes when police investigated thefts from railway stations.

A GPS device on a stolen electric bike led to the home of Timothy Batterham.

The offender told police he intended to use its engine to power a wheelchair.

Bicycle enthusiast Timothy James Batterham, 42, from West Ipswich, pleaded guilty to a dozen charges including multiple counts of stealing; unlawful possession of stolen property; entering a dwelling and stealing at Brookwater; fraud; failing to properly dispose of needle and syringes; and receiving tainted property.

Police prosecutor Jack Scott said the charges involved the theft of bank cards, a watch, three phones and money from a house in Brookwater in November last year.

Charges include the stealing of a mountain bike at Morayfield train station in February 2020, receiving tainted property (bicycle) at Bellbird Park, receiving stolen property (bicycle) at Indooroopilly, stealing a bicycle at Springfield Central, stealing money at Goodna and stealing a sewing machine from a Spotlight store at Indooroopilly.

Mr Scott said Batterham has a concerning criminal history from New South Wales.

He said the offences before the Ipswich court involved property worth more than $5000 and they had mostly been opportunistic thefts.

With two months already spent in jail, police sought for Batterham to receive a 12-month jail term.

Mr Scott said his crimes had been persistent and involved significant property.

He sought that Batterham serve more time in jail before release.

Batterham told police he paid money for the electric bicycle to a man he met at the Cecil Hotel in Goodna after winning money on the pokies.

He’d never seen the man before.

But Queensland Rail CCTV footage shows Batterham with the electric bike.

After its owner logged onto its GPS, the tracking device led police to Batterham’s home with the bike located in his dining room.

By the time it was found the GPS device had been disabled but the cut-off alarm was activated.

Batterham also walked out of the Spotlight store with an $800 sewing machine in June last year.

Defence lawyer Kelsea Read sought for his immediate release, saying he’d also been subject to tough COVID restrictions while in jail.

She sought a penalty of no more than nine months’ jail.

Magistrate Dennis Kinsella sentenced him to a 12-month jail term for the burglary and six months jail for the fraud offence.

He received immediate parole.

Read more stories by Ross Irby here.

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