The Weekly Advertiser Horsham
Ten arrested for gun thefts
Victoria Police Western Region Crime Squad detectives have implored people to secure their firearms after a spate of thefts.
Detective Senior Sergeant Matthew Kershaw said there was ‘no doubt’ the community was a safer place when stolen firearms were off the streets.
“Illicit firearms are a key component of some of Victoria’s most serious and violent crimes, including homicides, shootings, armed robberies and drug offences,” he said.
“Theft of a firearm carries a maximum 15-year jail term. This is an extremely serious offence and for this reason, we will not stop until we identify and arrest those seeking to inflict harm on the community.”
Western Region Crime Squad detectives arrested 10 people, including two Horsham men, following a string of firearm thefts late last year.
An investigation commenced after seven firearms were reported stolen from a Blampied property on July 29.
Ten firearms were reported stolen from a Horsham property on August 13, four firearms were reported stolen from a Newlyn property on November 10 and four firearms were reported stolen from an Enfield property on November 14.
Police have recovered 16 firearms following 11 search warrants and five Firearm Prohibition Order compliance checks across western Victoria.
Police allege two offenders attended a Beaufort property on August 13 where they tried to steal firearms and allegedly shot at a 31-year-old victim, who had confronted them, before fleeing the scene in a stolen Toyota Landcruiser. The victim was not injured.
Police arrested a Creswick man, 27, in Ararat in September. They arrested a Clifton Springs man, 24, in Sebastopol on November 25 and allege he was also involved.
They were charged with reckless conduct endangering life, theft of firearms, attempted theft of firearms, prohibited person possess firearm, possess trafficable quantity of firearm, possess ammunition, aggravated burglary, theft of motor vehicle, criminal damage by fire, burglary and handle stolen goods. Both were remanded to appear at Ballarat Magistrates’ Court at a later date.
A Sebastopol man, 39, two Creswick men, aged 34 and 36, two Horsham men, aged 28 and 33, and a Delacombe woman, 18, were charged with possess trafficable quantity of firearm, prohibited person possess firearm, possess ammunition, aggravated burglary, burglary, theft of firearms, theft of motor vehicle, theft and handle stolen goods.
Two boys, aged 16 and 17, were also arrested and charged with prohibited person possess firearm, possess trafficable quantity of firearm, possess ammunition, theft of firearms, burglary and handle stolen goods.