LARGE HAUL: Firearms, copper wire stolen from rural CQ
POLICE are calling on the public for assistance following a string of alleged firearm and copper wire theft across rural areas in Central Queensland.
The break and enter offences are alleged to have been committed over the last six months, with offenders targeting rural homes and business across the Rockhampton region.
Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey said offenders had stolen a large number of firearms from homes in Kabra, Mount Morgan, Yeppoon and Alton Downs.
Snr Sgt Peachey said offenders were waiting until homeowners had left their residence.
He said firearms had been stolen from about five or six different addresses, with the number stolen quite "considerable".
"About 15 firearms were stolen from just one of those addresses," he said.
"It is mostly riffles.
"We have been able to recover a couple of those firearms through raids in the Rockhampton region, but there are still a number of firearms outstanding."
He said police had received information offenders were attempting to traffic or offload the stolen firearms.
He said offenders were also targetting copper wire from rural businesses at Bouldercombe and Glenlee, with nearly one tonne stolen from a rural business last week.
"For that amount of copper wire to be stolen, there has to be an amount of planning, there has to be more than one person involved just due to the sheer weight," he said.
"We are seeing businesses specifically targeted and significant amounts stolen, with the copper wire sold as scrap metal for upwards of $7 per kilogram.
"Copper wire is difficult to trace and highly valuable at second-hand recycling outlets."
He said police were keeping an open mind and not ruling out the possibility the offences were linked.
"Investigations have been ongoing for quite some time and we will keep investigating these matters," he said.
"We know there are people out there who are involved, or know people who are involved, and we ask them to come forward.
"We also ask people who live or have businesses in these rural areas, to be vigilant with the security of properties and consider a review or upgrade of security measures."
If you have information for police, contact Policelink at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting, or Crime Stoppers via crimestoppersqld.com.au.