Truck thief pleads guilty to Singleton carnage

Sentencing soon for crimes that spur ATA cab security warning

Truck thief pleads guilty to Singleton carnage
The trail of destruction. YouTube: 7 News


The truck thief who left Singleton’s main street a scene of destruction last October has pleaded guilty to 11 of 30 charges.

These involved dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm to eight people, property destruction and reckless driving.

At the time of the offences, Rodney Johnson’s crimes spurred the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) to emphasise the need for truck cab security to be high priority for the industry, a call it reiterates.

"This devastating incident is a wakeup call for drivers to make sure their vehicles are always secured," ATA spokesperson Emily Mills tells ATN.

"It doesn’t matter where they are or how safe they may feel. Operators and drivers need to make security a normal part of their routine.

"Truck security is as simple as keeping the truck locked, being aware of the surroundings, keeping the keys in a safe place and checking the load.

"All trucking businesses should have a security plan in place and consider using a reporting system to make sure people know they’re safe and where their vehicle is."

Read the ATA’s initial cab security warning following the Singleton carnage, here

The ATA also noted official figures showing that truck theft has been a growing scourge in the 10 years to 2014, while car stealing had fallen 38 per cent in the same period.

Johnson stole the semi-trailer from a service station and drove it more than 130km along the New England Highway to Singleton, where he proceeded to smash through building structures, power poles and cars.

He was arrested after the truck burst into flames.

Sentencing has been set for October 31.


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