The bizarre story of the back wax car theft

A MINER says he was getting his back waxed when a workmate stole his car from a Gold Coast shopping centre.

But there was a glitch. The alleged theft was actually a hairy hoax.

Darren Joseph Smith later admitted he had a friend take the car as part of an insurance scam.

Smith yesterday pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court to one count of attempted fraud.

The unsophisticated attempted theft started out as a joke when Smith began to complain to his friend about his 2009 blue Holden GTS sedan.

"(Smith's friend) jokingly stated he would take the car off his hands for free," prosecutor Teneka Hill said. "He was approached several weeks later with the key and told he could have it."

Darren Joseph Smith leaves Southport court. Picture: Lea Emery
Darren Joseph Smith leaves Southport court. Picture: Lea Emery

Smith, 41, yesterday walked from court, having been sentenced to 240 hours community service and a $5000 fine. No conviction was recorded.

Ms Hill said Smith called police on April 4 this year claiming his car had been stolen while he was at Robina Town Centre getting his back waxed.

"On the same day he made a claim to the insurance company," she said.

Smith tried to claim $42,000 for the stolen car.

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Ms Hill said the police investigation discovered Smith's friend followed him into the car park and wait until he was inside the shopping centre.

The court was told the friend used the remote key to unlock the car and drove off.

Ms Hill said the mate told police Smith had approached him about getting the car for free after they had joked about it.

"He used the car a few times but he gave it away because it was not very good," she said.

The court was told the car had been used for parts.

Darren Joseph Smith leaves Southport court with his solicitor Farshad Sarabi, of Hannay Lawyers. Picture: Lea Emery
Darren Joseph Smith leaves Southport court with his solicitor Farshad Sarabi, of Hannay Lawyers. Picture: Lea Emery

Ms Hill said Smith told police he arranged for the car to be stolen for an insurance claim.

"He said he did not know why," she said.

Defence lawyer Farshad Sarabi, of Hannay Lawyers, said Smith was a single dad going through a divorce at the time and his assets had been liquidated.

"It was for financial gain although very stupid," he said.

Mr Sarabi said Smith had been working as a boiler maker in the mines for about 10 years and worked on a fly-in, fly-out basis.

He said Smith's insurer Shannons Insurance did not pay the insurance claim.

Smith is still repaying the loan on the Holden sedan.


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