Morgan Povey, aged 19, of Hutchings Way, Teignmouth, was not asked to enter pleas when he appeared by video link from Exeter Prison, where he is remanded in custody.
Judge Neil Davey, QC, adjourned the case until next week to allow time for him to speak to defence barrister Miss Evie Dean.
Povey is alleged to have burgled a house in Totnes on April 13 or 14 and stolen bank cards and vehicle keys before taking the VW Caddy van without consent.
He is alleged to have driven the van without the appropriate licence and to have had a craft knife in a public place when he was arrested in Plymouth on April 16.
He was remanded in custody and the Judge ordered he should be produced by the prison to appear in person next week.