Swan Hill Crime Investigation Unit detectives have charged a Creswick male with 25 offences following an investigation into a series of burglaries.
It is understood eight burglaries occurred between late March and early July in towns across Western Victoria, including Coleraine, Donald, Heywood, Stawell, Swan Hill, Timboon and Wendouree.
Detectives from across these areas were able to identify similarities between the burglaries, including vehicles being stolen with numberplates being changed, as well as a number of the stolen cars being later found abandoned and burnt out.
A combined effort from the Swan Hill CIU, Hamilton CIU and Ballarat Divisional Response Unit resulted in the execution of four search warrants on 5 August in Sebastopol and Mount Pleasant.
During the search warrant at one of the three addresses in Sebastopol, detectives seized a variety of evidence relating to the burglaries.
At the Mount Pleasant search warrant, detectives seized alleged stolen property valued at approximately $50,000, as well as imitation firearms. The burglaries this property relates to is still under investigation.
Following the search warrants, a 28-year-old male was arrested at an address in Creswick on 5 August. He was charged by detectives with a range of offences, including:
Four counts of burglary
Four counts of theft
Five counts of theft from motor vehicle
Theft of motor vehicle
Three counts of handling stolen goods
The 28-year-old male has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on 27 August.
Detectives also interviewed a 34-year-old male, who presented himself to Ballarat Police Station on 6 August. He was interviewed in relation to two burglaries, two thefts, three thefts from motor vehicle, one theft of motor vehicle, two accounts of handling stolen goods and arson. He was released pending further enquiries.
The investigation by Swan Hill, Hamilton and Ballarat police remains ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au