Rural investigators swoop on alleged gun thieves – Central West Police District

Detectives have charged two men in a blow to the trade in firearms stolen from farms in the state’s Central West.

Police from the Rural Crime Prevention Team (Central Zone) and the Central West Police District established Strike Force Derra in August 2018 to investigate break-ins at country properties, and the theft and illegal sale of stolen guns.

In one instance, strike force officers recovered six longarms, a firearm part and a large quantity of ammunition that pointed them to illegal activity in the Orange area.

Investigators established that two of the weapons were stolen from a break-in at a property in Carcoar last December where thieves used a vehicle to rip out and steal a gun safe.

Around 9am today (Thursday 21 March), police began the arrest phase of the operation.

Detectives travelled to Silverwater in Sydney where they charged a 27-year-old man with six counts of break, enter and steal; aggravated break, enter and steal; attempted break, enter and steal; enter building and commit serious indictable offence; larceny, pursuit (Skye’s Law); two counts of illegally sell firearm; illegally sell shortened firearm; the ongoing illegal sale of firearms and supply ammunition.

Another police team arrested a 51-year-old man at home in Frost Street, Orange.

He was charged with illegally sell shortened firearm.

The pair has been refused police bail and ordered to appear in the Parramatta and Orange Local Courts respectively, tomorrow (Friday 22 March)

Rural Crime Investigators are reminding regional communities to report similar crimes to police as soon as they occur.

“If a member of the public is offered a firearm under illegal circumstances, contact police immediately,” Central West Police District Commander, Chris Taylor said.

“Licensed farmers need their weapons, we understand and support that,” Superintendent Taylor said, “But they can also help fight this crime by ensuring their guns are secured according to the law, in gun safes that meet legal requirements.”

“Make it as difficult as you can to prevent thieves targeting your firearms,” Supt Taylor added.

“Perhaps limit discussions about what firearms you own and where you keep them.

“Consider installing cameras and other security measures if you can to safeguard your properties and prevent theft.

“If anyone has information about this type of crime, then please, tell us,” Supt Taylor said.

“We will act on that information and act, as we have in this case.”

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

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