Smash and grab raids net crooks thousands

May 16, 2018

Thieves cut the fence from Kobar to get into Echuca Rural.

The interior lights were removed from a Ford Territory parked at Echuca Rural.

The interior of a Mitsubishi Triton parked at Echuca Rural.

TENS of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment has been stolen and damage caused during a series of burglaries in Echuca’s industrial area.

Including the theft of specialised tools, which has left an Echuca apprentice thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Thieves drove a car into Echuca Rural in Cornelia Creek Rd overnight Monday by cutting the boundary fences from Kobar and the old Tisdall building.

Once inside the yard, Echuca Rural co-owner and director Graeme Shiells said the crooks smashed the windows of three vehicles.

Then they stole $1000 worth of engine instruments, $500 worth of LED lights and fuel cards, which Mr Shiells said he had since cancelled.

However, that wasn’t the worst of it.

‘‘One of the cars had two tool boxes belonging to an apprentice,’’ Mr Shiells said.

With the theft exceeding the business’ insurance, he said the apprentice would be thousands of dollars out of pocket.

‘‘This is a significant loss for him,’’ Mr Shiells said.

‘‘He’s only a second-year apprentice so this will hurt him terribly.’’

The blue toolboxes contained Kincrome tools, which Mr Shiells said would take at least two people to carry.

‘‘It effectively strips him of work,’’ he said.

‘‘He can borrow tools but he works offsite a lot so he’s going to be struggling for a while.

‘‘It’s very disappointing.

‘‘He’s very keen to get these back so if anyone is offered tools or has any information, I would urge them to come forward.’’

Mr Shiells said he and police were reviewing CCTV footage and urged neighbouring businesses to do the same.

A matt black Isuzu two-door 4WD was also stolen from an industrial premise in Mundarra Rd the same night.

The passenger side of the vehicle, registration number RGB 533, is painted in grey primer.

Detective Sergeant Troy Wickham of Echuca Criminal Investigation Unit said police were investigating the burglaries and thefts and had processed the scenes.

He urged anyone with information to contact Echuca police on 54831558 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.

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