Three charged over burglaries

(Supplied) 253041_02

Ash Bolt

Detectives from Geelong Tasking and Crime Intervention Taskforce and Brimbank Crime Investigation Unit have arrested three people over a series of commercial burglaries across Geelong and Melbourne’s western suburbs this year.

Police alleged the trio targeted 50 commercial properties, including factories, warehouses, scrap yards, service stations and shops, between July 5 and October 14, stealing around $250,000 worth of property.

Detectives executed search warrants in Norlane, Corio and Burnside on Wednesday and arrested three men in relation to the burglaries.

A 35-year-old man from Norlane was charged with 20 counts of burglary, three counts of theft of motor vehicle, one count of handling stolen goods and multiple driving and bail offences.

He was remanded to face Geelong Magistrates Court on November 5.

A 45-year-old man from Corio was charged with six counts of burglary and also remanded to appear before Geelong Magistrates Court on November 5.

A 34-year-old man from Burnside was arrested on Thursday and charged with three counts of handling stolen goods.

He was remanded to appear before Sunshine Magistrates Court on November 5.

Police seized a collection of allegedly stolen items during the property searches, including electrical cable worth about $100,000, copper piping, tools, mobile phones, a drone, clothing and numerous collectable Pokemon cards.

During a search of the Corio property, police also seized around 30 grams of methamphetamine and $3070 cash from a vehicle.

That led police to charge a 32-year-old man from Corio with drug trafficking, possession and dealing with property suspected to be the proceeds of crime offences.

He was bailed to appear before Geelong Magistrates Court on February 11 next year.

His charges were not related to the commercial burglaries.

“This is a fantastic result following a protracted, joint investigation into a large series of burglaries that have had a profound impact on business owners,” Geelong Police detective senior sergeant Stephan Pucar said.

“The very nature of these crimes is brazen and reckless and police will not tolerate those who cause harm to local businesses.

It was alleged the men committed 30 burglaries in Geelong, including the theft of $11,000 worth of electronic equipment from a retailer in Corio on September 6.

It was also alleged the men committed four burglaries on October 3, targeting a sports store in South Geelong, a service station in Batesford, a liquor store in Highton and a metal factory in North Geelong.

Items stolen included sports shoes and clothing, phone accessories, a display unit, tobacco products, copper piping and scrap metal.

Just over a week later, they allegedly broke into a service station in East Geelong using an angle grinder and stole $6000 worth of cigarettes.