Bridgetown police tell residents to lock up

Karen HuntManjimup-Bridgetown Times

Bridgetown police are warning residents to lock up as investigations continue into a series of burglaries in late 2016 in which vehicles worth $100,000 were stolen.

A 19-year-old Busselton man arrested in connection with two of the offences was fined $4000 in Bunbury Magistrates Court on January 3, Bridgetown officer-in-charge Phil Nation said.

The man, who pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated burglary, was arrested at Scotts Tavern in the early hours of December 28 after breaking into the premises, Sgt Nation said.

The man also admitted to attempting to break into the Balingup General Store, Sgt Nation said.

Several other premises were targeted on December 28 including the PA Doust yard where offenders stole a truck loaded with a bobcat, worth $100,000.

“The truck from PA Doust was located abandoned in Capel, fortunately not damaged and recovered by Bridgetown police late on December 28,” Sgt Nation said.

“Also broken into the same night were the YeOp Shop, the Bridgetown Tennis Club and Hillview Garden Centre.”

Police allege a group of men were involved in these further burglaries and are working with Busselton colleagues to identify possible offenders and a vehicle of interest.

Sgt Nation said the offences were a reminder to be vigilant about security and that offenders from out of town sometimes targeted the area.

“If we can demonstrate that we are not a vulnerable community then we can directly influence these types of offenders raiding our town,” he said.

Sgt Nation said police were investigating whether there was any link between the unsolved December 28 burglaries and an earlier series of break-ins on December 13 in Balingup, Bridgetown and Nannup.

Balingup’s Packing Shed and pharmacy were targeted together with Bridgetown’s Barking Cow, Flying Duck and Splitting Hairz Salon and Nannup’s liquor store and shire depot, he said.

“These guys are pretty forensically aware, they’re covering their faces and wearing gloves so as not to leave any prints or DNA,” Sgt Nation said.

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