ICE USERS FACE THEFT CHARGES

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRIS MCMA­HON chris. mcma­hon@ news. com. au

A SYN­DI­CATE of ice users has been blamed for an elab­o­rate car parts and diesel black mar­ket, with the money earned from a se­ries of thefts al­legedly used to feed their ad­dic­tion.

Three men will face charges af­ter al­legedly break­ing into busi­nesses in the Bohle in­dus­trial es­tate and quar­ries near Deer­a­gun, steal­ing car parts, tyres and diesel fuel.

It is al­leged the men stole more than 5000L of diesel and al­most $ 100,000 worth of ve­hi­cle parts and stock.

Po­lice claim the men were selling the diesel for $ 1 per litre and the car parts to feed their ice ad­dic­tion, as well as mod­i­fy­ing their own ute with stolen parts.

Deer­a­gun po­lice of­fi­cerin- charge Se­nior Sergeant John Ma­hony said the men had been charged with 34 of­fences in­clud­ing break and en­ter, steal­ing, wil­ful dam­age and un­law­ful en­try of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle of­fences.

“They were all act­ing as a syn­di­cate of a type, the diesel was be­ing on­sold to peo- ple for mon­e­tary re­turn,” Sen- Sgt Ma­hony said. “We had be­come aware that cer­tain peo­ple were putting in or­ders of car parts and diesel and the peo­ple charged were ac­tu­ally com­mit­ting the break and en­ters to steal the items that were be­ing

‘‘ They were all act­ing as a syn­di­cate … the diesel was be­ing on­sold to peo­ple for mon­e­tary re­turn SE­NIOR SERGEANT JOHN MA­HONY

sought by these peo­ple. Our in­quiries have iden­ti­fied that ice use may have been a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in the com­mis­sion of the of­fences.

“It’s an ex­am­ple of how the use of ice is con­tribut­ing to prop­erty of­fences.”

Sen- Sgt Ma­hony said po­lice ex­pected to ar­rest more peo­ple for buy­ing the stolen parts and diesel fuel.

“Po­lice will con­tinue to make in­quiries into the peo­ple who have pur­chased the fuel and other peo­ple who have un­law­fully re­ceived prop­erty from the three of­fend­ers,” he said.

“In the com­ing days, we will be lo­cat­ing those peo­ple with a view to pros­e­cute them.”

A 20- year- old West End man, a 19- year- old Bohle man and a 19- year- old Mount Louisa man will face Townsville Mag­is­trates Court in re­la­tion to the thefts in com­ing weeks.

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