Police target rebirth activity

A POLICE operation to combat organised car theft and rebirthing, and enforce compliance across the Riverina has led to the issue of seven infringements related to dodgy bookkeeping.

An Albury auto dismantler business was fined $330 for an extensive compliance breach and was served a show-cause notice by the Department of Fair Trading.

The business, which cannot be named, will have a period of time to get its books in order before police and Department of Fair Trading inspectors re-inspect the business.

Property crime squad detectives visited Griffith, Cootamundra, Albury and Wagga last week as part of Strike Force Granite.

The squad inspected 13 businesses, including four in Albury with one auto dismantler business fined.

There were also five penalty notices issued to an auto dismantler business in Griffith and one penalty notice in Wagga.

The Wagga business will be further investigated by detectives after an on-site vehicle was found to have some of its unique identifiers removed.

Detective Inspector Anthony Holton, of the property crime squad motor unit, said non-compliance with motor record keeping could involve a number of things, including pages being removed.

Insp Holton said the operation was also a chance to work with police in each area on business compliance inspections and anti car rebirthing initiatives.

“Generally, across the board, the level of compliance wasn’t too bad,” he said.

“These penalty notices are more like a warning for these businesses to get their affairs in order.

“We gave a lecture to local police about compliance, so when we leave there’s a pool of command that can inspect businesses and they will know what to look for.”

Albury crash repairer Scott French, who is managing director of BF Panels, said he was not aware of any organised car theft or rebirthing occurring on the Border.

“I have heard stories of it happening in the cities, but nothing around here,” he said.

Mr French said he believed it was a good thing police were keeping a close eye on businesses.

“There’s a lot of vehicles damaged and stolen that are a cost burden to everyone,” he said.

“We all pay for it with insurance premiums, so it affects the whole community.”