Stolen bounty in a city garage

HAVE you had something stolen recently? It could be among a $100,000 cache of stolen property detectives have uncovered in a Wodonga garage.

Power tools, jewellery, mobile phones, keys, wallets, iPads, sunglasses, watches, a first-aid kit and even climbing rope were found in the garage of a Colombera Circuit home on Friday.

Wodonga Detective Acting Sgt Andrew Leonard stood in the Crime Investigation Unit offices yesterday surrounded by the seized goods.

Power tools were piled up on a table next to SIM cards, watches and wallets were lined up on a desk and a bagful of keys sat among sunglasses and mobile phones.

Sgt Leonard said they’ve linked some of the property to recent burglaries but there is several thousand dollars worth of property for which police have no known owners.

It includes a commercial first-aid kit, power tools and jewellery that could hold sentimental value to Border residents.

Included in a treasure trove of rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings is a bracelet engraved with the words “BFF” (best friends forever) on one side and “4 Eva” (forever) on the other.

Sgt Leonard said most of the property had been linked to commercial burglaries including break-ins at Albury Wodonga RV World in Melrose Drive on Christmas Eve and engineering business Parker Hannifin two weeks ago.

“They’re substantial burglaries,” Sgt Leonard said.

He said Wodonga police were liaising with their Albury counterparts as they tried to link goods to burglaries on both sides of the Border.

“We’re now continuing to investigate to try and identify what we believe is stolen property,” Sgt Leonard said.

He said a 24-year-old man was arrested in a Wodonga house on Friday.

He was charged with 11 offences including theft and burglary.

He faced the Wodonga Magistrates’ Court on Friday and was remanded in custody for a court appearance on January 22.

Sgt Leonard said the arrest was a breakthrough, particularly as Victoria Police statistics revealed a rise in burglaries in Wodonga.

Residential burglaries increased by 21.7 per cent in the past 12 months to September this year compared with the previous year.

“It’ll hopefully go a long way in stemming a lot of property offences on both sides of the river,” he said.

Sgt Leonard appealed for anyone who may have had property stolen and wishes to inspect the property to contact Wodonga police.

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