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Thieves on rampage

Wednesday, 7th September, 2011

ALARMING CRIME: The scene at Picton Plants where thieves broke in and stole the two vehicles yesterday that were later used in a ram raid. ALARMING CRIME: The scene at Picton Plants where thieves broke in and stole the two vehicles yesterday that were later used in a ram raid.

An incident in which thieves broke in and stole two vehicles from a nursery and used them to smash through the doors of a supermarket yesterday morning has alarmed police.

One of the vehicles was later found on fire and the other crashed into the fence of a house.

Picton Plants in May Harding Drive was broken into sometime after lock-up at 5.30pm on Monday and the thieves stole a Holden rodeo utility tray back and a white dual cab Isuzu tipper, police said.

Silverlea CEO, Brian Slater, said he received a call from police about 4am yesterday.

“Security people who drive around must have noticed it and called the police who called me,” Mr Slater said.

He said there was considerable damage to a number of sheds and equipment and tools had been stolen and hidden out at the airport.

“I believe they dropped it off to be picked up later,” Mr Slater said.

Picton Plants was able to get back some of their stolen gear but Mr Slater said it will “be out of pocket a fair bit”.

“We estimate the structural damage and theft to be about $40,000, plus the repairs and replacement of vehicles. It will be a fairly substantial amount,” he said.

Mr Slater said a lot of people would be affected by the theft and destruction.

“It affects parents and other organisations when we can’t operate,” he said.

But he said they were “pretty lucky” that the thieves didn’t get inside and do more damage.

Police said that the stolen vehicles were later used to commit a ‘ram raid’ at a supermarket.

The thieves rammed open the rear roller door to the Williams Street IGA Fresh about 12.15am yesterday and stole a quantity of alcohol.

Manager of the IGA Fresh, Michael Egan, described the theft as a “rude awakening” and said the damage bill was about $10,000 to $15,000.

An hour later, the Holden rodeo utility was crashed into the fence of a Morgan Street property.

Another hour after this, police and the fire brigade were called to the rear of the O’Neill Park tennis courts where the Isuzu tipper was found alight.

Police said this sort of offence was very rare in Broken Hill and for that reason they were very concerned about it.

 

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