A Sebastopol man who rode in a stolen car and told a petrol station worker he was a bikie and “used to rob” similar places has been sentenced in court.

Ex-labourer Benjamin Foster, 34, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The court heard on December 14, 2020, a woman’s car was stolen from the front of her Eaglehawk home.

Days later, police officers were patrolling the California Gully area and saw a man matching Foster’s description leaving McDonald’s on foot.

He pulled his hood over his head and looked away, appearing to “avoid police attention”.

Police found the car stolen from Eaglehawk in the restaurant car park, with no other vehicles nearby.

Forensic analyses brought up fingerprints linked to Foster on the external driver’s side window and the external front passenger side window of the car.

In February 2021, Foster presented to Bendigo Police Station, where he was interviewed and admitted to being a passenger in the vehicle.

“I did not know it was stolen, and that’s the God-honest truth,” he said.

On October 25, 2021, Foster entered a BP petrol station and said to the attendant: “Give me all the money in the till.”

He went on: “I’m only joking; I only say that to keep people on their toes.

“I used to rob places like this.”

Saying he was part of a bikie gang, Foster reached into the pocket of his hoodie, which the attendant believed contained a weapon.

Foster said, “Don’t tell anyone I have this,” and left.

He was captured on CCTV getting into the passenger side of a Mercedes Benz.

In late November 2021, Foster made arrangements to be picked up by a friend at an Ampol petrol station in Soldiers Hill.

His friend arrived in a car stolen days earlier from a petrol station, which also bore stolen number plates on its front and back.

On November 29, police officers saw the car in a Wendouree reserve.

As they approached it, Foster exited the passenger side, saying, “I didn’t steal no car, man.”

He was arrested and taken to Ballarat Police Station, where he told police his friend had told him he took the car because someone owed him money.

Foster said he “didn’t even look at the plates”.

About the BP incident, he said he had a jet lighter and that it was “just a joke”.

In court, Foster pleaded guilty to recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime and using threatening words in a public place.

He was sentenced to 60 days in prison, already served.

Extracted in full form: Benjamin Foster: Sebastopol man ‘joked’ about wanting money in petrol station till | Herald Sun