The right combination opens up stolen safe

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A safe being moved by a crane.

Good old-fashioned police work ‘dug up’ the offenders who stole a safe containing almost $50,000 even after their attempts to ‘bury’ their involvement.

The offenders arrived at a commercial premises in Wangara on bicycles and left with the safe on the back of a trailer towed by a Land Rover which were both also stolen from the scene.

Joondalup Detectives sent a CCTV image of one of the offenders to local police at Wanneroo who were able to nominate a suspect. Investigators identified a phone linked to the suspect and progressed Telco actions. The phone was found to be active within a large “ping” zone in Wangara.
Investigators were able to track the offenders’ movements leaving the crime scene through the collection of CCTV over a long distance through Wangara. This led to the discovery of the suspect’s phone wedged between two crates at a different business premises in Wangara.
Police Air Wing were deployed to conduct aerial surveillance of linked addresses in search of the stolen Land Rover and trailer. The stolen motor vehicle was located near an associate’s home and the trailer at his parent’s three-acre property.

CCTV seized from the parent’s property showed three men arriving in a white ute with an object under a blanket on the rear. It then showed the safe being buried with the use of a Bobcat which led to the empty safe being recovered.

Joondalup District Crime Inspector Gary Butler said investigators were later able to locate all three suspects at Crown Casino gambling with a quantity of cash.

“A Westpac receipt was located during a search at the third man’s home showing cash had been deposited a day after the burglary,” he said. 

“A great deal of other forensic work including DNA analysis of the bicycles and a discarded soft drink bottle proved vital in linking the men to the crime. Clothing items consistent with CCTV footage were also recovered.”

“The final piece of the puzzle was the review of ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) and ScanCam data for all vehicles associated with suspects.

One of the suspect’s associates was captured fuelling her vehicle with the suspect in the passenger seat. A search of her home resulted in the suspect being located and arrested in a safe and controlled manner given he was a member of the New Zealand outlaw motorcycle gang Black Power and known to be extremely violent and anti-police.”

Joondalup District Superintendent Brett Baddock said he was pleased with the local offender knowledge of Wanneroo Police and the tenacity of the investigators.

“I am confident that this crime syndicate would have continued committing commercial burglaries had they not been stopped in their tracks,” he added.