Police arrest man over stealing from vacant home at Batlow

A man has been arrested after property was stolen from a vacant home about 110km south east of Wagga Wagga.

About 3.30pm yesterday (Thursday 2 January 2020), a man broke into a rural property on Old Tumbarumba Road at Batlow.

At the time the home was unoccupied, with the residents leaving the property due to bushfire activity.

The man allegedly searched through the house, before stealing a Ford Falcon sedan.

A short time later, officers from Riverina Police District observed a Ford Falcon sedan driving erratically along Old Tumbarumba Road, Batlow.

Police initiated a pursuit, but it was terminated shortly after due to safety concerns.

Soon after, officers located the sedan after it crashed into a tree.

The driver, a 19-year-old man, was taken to Wagga Wagga Base Hospital in a stable condition, where he remains under police guard.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located a backpack containing several items believed to be stolen, including jewellery, documentation, and ammunition. The bag was seized to undergo forensic examination.

Investigations are continuing.

Meanwhile, State Emergency Operations Controller (SEOCON), Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys APM, said police are committed to ensuring not only the preservation of life, but also the security of property.

“Local police numbers are being bolstered by the Public Order and Riot Squad, the Police Transport Command, and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command to ensure regular patrols are conducted throughout the bushfire affected areas.

“Any reports of these criminal acts will be thoroughly investigated. This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated by police or the wider community, and we will take immediate action to bring these people before the courts.

“I also ask members of the community to be vigilant – if you see a crime being committed, call Triple Zero immediately,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

For all updated bushfire information, visit: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

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