A Portland couple accused of stealing an elderly man's ute in a brazen aggravated burglary left their own car at the scene of the crime, leading police to uncover their DNA.
Damien Kiel, 28, and his girlfriend Paige Doueal, 23, allegedly drove a fawn coloured Holden Commodore to a Camperdown property at 3.15pm on November 11, 2023.
The victim was inside when he heard a door slam. He then found a masked man inside his house, the Warrnambool Magistrates Court heard on November 20.
Mr Kiel allegedly demanded the keys to the victim's 2012 Holden Colarado utility.
He grabbed the keys from a draw and the victim made an unsuccessful attempt to snatch them back.
Mr Kiel then left the house.
The victim observed another masked man outside, as well as a female, alleged to be Ms Doueal, who was crouching behind a car.
The trio fled the scene in the victim's ute at high speed, leaving behind the fawn coloured Commodore they arrived in.
The court heard that car had been involved in a police evade less than an hour before the alleged aggravated burglary.
Police allege Mr Kiel drove at up to 118kmh in a 100kmh zone on the wrong side of the road and failed to stop in the Wangoom Road area of Warrnambool.
The Commodore was forensically analysed by police at the Camperdown home, uncovering paperwork in Ms Doueal's name, as well as her and Mr Kiel's fingerprints.
Police also found inside the car property alleged to have been stolen from a vehicle parked at Colac's K-Hub earlier that morning.
It is alleged the couple were observed approaching the car, opening the passenger-side door and stealing a wallet.
A card within the wallet was later used to make a purchase for $4.50 at Apollo Seafoods.
The court heard the stolen utility was found stuck in a ditch at Beaufort the following day about 8.30am.
The empty car appeared to be backed up to a locked gate at a grain storage facility.
A short time later Beaufort police officers were called to a nearby intersection to do a welfare check on a man and woman, believed to be Mr Kiel and Ms Doueal.
A witness told police they appeared to be drug affected and had stated they'd been at a party in Geelong, nearly two hours away, and were lost.
Police were then called to the Beaufort Hospital about noon after the pair attended and asked for syringes but were refused.
When members attended, they ran away and could not be located.
Mr Kiel and Ms Doueal were then reported to be in the vicinity of the Warrnambool train station on November 16, police attended about 9.30pm, but they fled into dense swampy bushland.
An extensive search took place and the pair was found hiding in the swamp.
They were severely drug affected and arrested at the scene.
The court heard they were lodged in the Warrnambool police station cells.
Kiel was aggressive with custody officers and allegedly damaged two cells by scratching offensive words on the walls, as well as "Damo Paige 4eva".
During Mr Kiel's bid for bail on November 20, magistrate John Lesser accepted strict conditions would reduce the risk of the man re-offending and granted the application.
The conditions include the man live in Indented Head, east of Geelong, abide by an overnight curfew, and not drive, use drugs or associate with his girlfriend.
Ms Doueal remains in custody. They will appear in court again on November 23.
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