Tyler Jordan-Steel fined for ute theft

​A FARM worker who stole a Toyota Hilux ute and sold it on a Facebook buy, swap and sell website has been fined$1500 and ordered to pay $1500 compensation.

Tyler Jordan-Steel, 28, of Richmond Street, Colac, appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court for a contest mention hearing which became a guilty plea after he was told he would not be jailed.

Magistrate Ron Saines said a number of factors indicated that Jordan-Steel had acted dishonestly.

He said that the accused had on-sold the ute when he could not pass on the title. 

Police said that Jordan-Steel had worked on a farm where a previous ​employee​ had stored a ute as payment for a $5000 debt. 

Overnight on March 22 last year Jordan-Steel loaded the ute on to a trailer which he transported to his parents’ home at Koroit. 

He advertised the ute on buy, swap and sell and sold the ute for $1500 to an Ararat buyer. 

​The new owner​ kept the ute for eight or nine months and spent between $1000 and $1500 on it before realising it was going to be ​too ​costly to fix the vehicle to a roadworthy state. 

He advertised the ute for sale for $3000, the original owner became aware and police seized the vehicle. 

That ​purchaser said he did not suspect the vehicle was stolen. 

Jordan-Steel ​c​laimed that he was owed between $500 and $600 by a neighbour of the owner and also gave him a box of spirits before taking the ute which he claimed made his situation “equal”.

Solicitor Belinda Northey said her client did not think it was theft at the time.