A Ballarat duo has been charged over a crime spree across Victoria and regional NSW involving the theft of two firearms, 10 cars, and approximately $75,000 worth of jewellery.
Police allege the man and woman, who are facing more than 160 charges, were involved in 65 aggravated burglaries and car thefts over the last month.
They allegedly targeted homes and vehicles across Ballarat, Benalla, Bendigo, Berrigan, Colac, Cobram, Moama, Tocumwal, and Warrnambool as well as Geelong and Melbourne.
Following an extensive investigation from Western Region Crime Squad detectives, the Ballarat duo were arrested in a stolen Isuzu Utility at a Maribyrnong shopping centre on Wednesday 22 March.
Over the course of the operation, police seized 10 stolen vehicles valued at approximately $350,000 including:
• 2018 Isuzu Dmax Utility
• 2019 Ford Ranger Utility
• 2015 Ford Ranger Utility
• 1993 Toyota Landcruiser 4WD
• 1992 Ford Falcon Station wagon
• 2011 Holden Omega station wagon
• 2013 Landrover
• 2003 Ford Falcon sedan
• 2015 Mitsubishi Triton utility
• 2008 Ford Ranger utility
Police also seized:
• A stolen Rizzini shotgun
• A significant amount of stolen jewellery valued at approximately $20,000
A 29-year-old Ballarat East female and a 24-year-old Alfredton male have each been charged with over 80 offences, including possess traffickable amount of firearms, aggravated burglary, theft of motor vehicle, and theft from motor vehicle.
Both have been remanded to appear at Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday 29 June.
Quotes attributable to Western Region Crime Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Matthew Kershaw:
“There’s no doubt that crimes such as home burglaries and car thefts can have a significant impact on our community, which is why we are determined to bring those responsible to justice.
“When linked offending occurs across multiple parts of Victoria, we work collaboratively with local detectives to gather intelligence, which ultimately leads to swift arrests.
“It is particularly concerning to police when firearms end up in the hands of thieves as we know the damage illicit firearms can enable within criminal circles.”