It was an elaborate plan. Brazen, yet cunning, and assisted by some good fortune. But ultimately, the car thief was undone by his own backyard security camera.
Ashley Brian Figura, 24, was sentenced to four years' prison in the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday.
However, he will be assessed for his suitability for an intensive corrections order, meaning he could serve his sentence in the community.
A co-accused in the matter pleaded not guilty and is currently before the courts.
In December last year, staff at Pickles Auctions in Gladstone Street, Fyshwick locked up for the night and set the alarms.
The compound was secured with padlocks, gates and electric fencing. At about 4am, Figura broke into the site and within about 40 minutes had stolen seven vehicles.
He cut through one fence, and using a wooden plank managed to push down the electric fence causing wires to touch, shorting the system and rendering it harmless. It is unknown why the alarm system failed to sound.
Figura rammed the gate, which blocked the exit, damaging it to make his escape.
During the heist Figura made off with an HSV Clubsport, Jeep Wrangler, Subaru WRX, Hyundai Santa Fe, Subaru Liberty, BMW 135i and another HSV Commodore.
Once out of the Pickles facility, Figura hid the cars and drove them back to his mother's Crestwood home over the next few hours, where he stashed them in the backyard.
Pickles management organised for a security guard to be stationed at the compromised site for the next night.
Having made a successful first attempt, Figura returned to Pickles the following night. This time he cut a hole in the fence large enough for a vehicle to fit through and built a makeshift ramp over a small brick wall.
Figura made off with a Land Rover Discovery and a Toyota Landcruiser through the hole in the fence.
It was unknown what the security guard was doing.
The next heist targeted a different Fyshwick business, Canberra Motorcycle Centre, which had a B-Double transport truck left padlocked overnight in Quilpie Street.
Figura forced open the truck and made off with a distinctive Suzuki GSXR racing motorcycle, worth about $50,000.
The final theft saw Figura break into Gulson Car Sales and steal two BMW wheels fitted with Michelin tyres. Vehicles used in the crime spree were matched to an earlier theft of three vehicles from a Beard business.
Police may have had a more difficult job mounting the case against Figura had a security camera in his mother's backyard not captured him driving car after car onto the property.
A search warrant executed by police a few days after the thefts recovered most of the stolen vehicles.
He was charged with multiple offences including joint commission theft, trespassing, property damage and driving vehicles without consent.
Figura pleaded guilty. He has served more than five months in prison since his arrest.
The court heard that prior to being incarcerated, Figura was using methamphetamine daily and his offending was to feed his drug habit.
Justice David Mossop said Figura had a long criminal history for a relatively young man, but also said he was "not without hope".
Justice Mossop encouraged him to take the opportunity to stop using drugs and stop offending for both his and his family's sake.
He said a jail sentence was the only appropriate penalty to reflect the gravity of offending. However, Figura may serve part of the four-year sentence in the community by way of an intensive correction order. He also received a $500 fine.