A serial criminal with hundreds of convictions has admitted breaking into a Canberra supermarket and wheeling away a safe that contained more than $70,000 in cash.
Peter Michael Crawford, 38, appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court via a prison telephone on Wednesday morning.
He pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated burglary and theft, which arose out of an early morning incident at the University of Canberra supermarket in September 2020.
A statement of facts, tendered to the court, says Crawford and an unknown man managed to get into the supermarket about 4.23am on the morning in question.
Over the course of nearly an hour, they stole thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes and a case of Jack Daniel's whisky.
Crawford was also captured on CCTV pulling the safe, which was on wheels, away from the supermarket and lifting it, with the help of his fellow burglar and another unidentified man, into a car.
The supermarket owner reported the burglary after arriving for work later in the morning, and police officers recognised Crawford from the surveillance footage.
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The 38-year-old's right thumbprint was also subsequently found on a door handle inside the supermarket's office.
Police located the safe about 9.30pm on the same day it was taken, but court documents do not say where it was or whether its contents were still in it when it was discovered.
Officers could not track Crawford down for some time because he disappeared to Victoria, where they eventually discovered he had been locked up for unrelated offences.
The man was arrested upon his release from jail in that state in June, when he was extradited to the ACT and remanded in custody here.
After Crawford pleaded guilty on Wednesday, special magistrate Margaret Hunter committed him to the ACT Supreme Court to take his sentence.
Ms Hunter also ordered a pre-sentence report and an assessment of Crawford's suitability for an intensive correction order.
The case will go before a registrar next Thursday, when a sentencing date might be set.
Crawford remains behind bars on remand in the meantime.
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