A BLIND alcoholic ice-user with gambling problems, who allegedly threw tools at a pursuing police van before a divisional van was rammed, is contesting charges.
Steven Bausch, 28, of Laverock Road, Warrnambool, successfully applied for bail in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court late last month charged with 11 offences including thefts of cars, burglaries, thefts and assaulting police.
On Thursday solicitor Rob Morgan said there were definite issues of identification on crucial security camera footage and his client was contesting all charges.
Mr Morgan said the faces of those seen on the footage were covered and the man who police claimed was Mr Bausch didn't even look like his client.
Co-accused Chloe Harris, 20, previously of Warrnambool's Wooles Avenue, and Geelong’s James Leigh Nichols, aged in his mid 20s, remain in custody.
Contest mention hearings have been set down for September 1 for the three co-accused and full briefs of evidence will be served on solicitors of the trio by August 25.
Police claim that two Holden Caprice hire cars were not returned to the Melbourne airport in late April.
The court was told Mr Bausch, Ms Harris and Mr Nichols then went to the Cobden pharmacy on May 15 where Mr Nichols used a pick axe to smash the front door.
It was alleged the trio stole medication and perfume valued at $505.
They then drove the hire cars to Terang where they used the pick axe to break into Foodies and steal cash and goods worth $300.
The same afternoon the offenders went to the City Memorial Bowls Club in Warrnambool where a 59-year-old woman's handbag was taken, containing her mobile phone, $65 in cash and her car keys.
The next night the woman's Holden Commodore sedan was stolen.
It was recovered after suffering minor damage eight days later at Stonyford.
Police said at 4am on June 7 Mr Bausch was again with Mr Nichols and another woman in a stolen Nissan Navara driving along Warrnambool’s Queens Road when police tried to intercept the ute.
Officers activated their emergency lights and the driver clipped the police van before driving dangerously and at high speed to try and evade police in a four kilometre chase.
Mr Bausch was a backseat passenger, wound down his window and threw tools at the divisional van - including spanners, shifters, hammers and a tool box.
The driver then entered a court and police blocked the sole entry/exit.
The driver drove directly at the police vehicle and only evasive action by an officer to move the van avoided a major collision.
The Navara hit the back of the police van which could not continue the pursuit.
The stolen ute was eventually found in Maxwell Grove along with the bowls club victim's phone and personal papers.
Detective Senior Constable Gary Greene said there was security camera footage of some of the offending.
But the dispute is over whether that footage clearly identifies anyone.