Trio arrested following $100K theft of red gum trees

Police from Bairnsdale Highway Patrol along with Department of Environment Land Water and Planning have arrested three people in relation to criminal damage and a large number of tree thefts which occurred in Forge Creek last year.

It is alleged the trio, two men and a woman, stole the red gum trees from crown land on Barkhill Road in August 2018.

A 25-year-old Paynesville man was arrested after warrants were executed at a property in Paynesville on 24 August.

The man has been charged with numerous counts of criminal damage, theft, traffic related offences and offices against the Crown Land Act.

He is expected to appear at Bairnsdale Magistrates’ Court on 2 April.

The man and woman, both aged 21 are expected to be charged on summons in relation to criminal damage and theft related offences.

They will also appear at Bairnsdale Magistrates’ Court at a later date.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at

Leading Senior Constable Natalie Dean

Media Advisor

/Public Release. View in full here.