A man accused of stealing a Rural Fire Service truck and setting it alight in the north western-NSW township of Coonamble fled to Wollongong when he learned there was a warrant out for his arrest, a court has heard.
Jacob Darcy, 20, was apprehended at his father's home in Corrimal, a suburb of Wollongong, on Tuesday, despite being on strict Supreme Court bail to live at a home in Coonamble.
Police will allege Darcy and another man broke into the RFS station at Pine Grove, 30km east of Coonamble, around midnight on June 12 last year and stole the brigade's main tanker, worth an estimated $340,000.
The pair allegedly took the truck for a joyride from the station to Coonamble, then to Quambone, Carinda, back to Coonamble and finally back to Quambone, where it was parked at 7.49am.
The entire journey was recorded by the truck's GPS system, which had automatically activated when it left the station.
A short time later, a witness saw the truck being reversed into scrub by a man she later identified as Darcy. It is alleged Darcy then set fire to the front seat of the truck before moving to a nearby front yard.
Meanwhile, the witness contacted police and the RFS before approaching the truck and extinguishing the fire.
It is alleged Darcy threw a beer bottle at the truck then walked into a nearby house.
Meanwhile, police arrived at the scene and entered the house, however Darcy couldn't be located.
Officers arrested another member of the house on an unrelated matter. They returned to the house a short time later and discovered Darcy hiding in the roof space. He was arrested and taken to Coonamble Police Station where he was charged with stealing a motor vehicle, damaging property by fire, driving disqualified and aggravated break and enter.
The court heard the RFS truck had to be written off because of the damage.
Meanwhile, Darcy was remanded in custody for nine months until he was granted bail by the NSW Supreme Court to attend a live-in drug rehabilitation centre.
His bail was altered at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis to allow him to live in Coonamble, however the court heard he failed to appear at a scheduled court date and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Rather than turning himself in, it is alleged Darcy fled to Corrimal.
In court on Wednesday, Darcy's lawyer said his client wanted to remain living in Corrimal to assist his father with medical conditions.
However, Magistrate Mark Douglass refused to release Darcy given his lengthy criminal history and the seriousness of the charges.
"He was warned there was a warrant in issue [and] his response was to leave the area....and move to Wollongong," he said.
"That's unacceptable and a significant breach."
The case will return to court on July 21.