VICTORIA Police have charged a man two counts of theft and seized 70 allegedly stolen sheep at a Clonbanine property in the state’s north-east region.
The police action followed an ongoing investigation into a series of alleged sheep thefts believed to have occurred in the region over the past nine months.
Detectives from the Eastern Region Crime Squad, with assistance from Victoria Police’s agricultural liaison officers (AGLOs), executed warrants at properties in Clonbinane and Fosterville yesterday.
A 25-year-old Ringwood East man has been charged with two counts of theft, handle stolen goods and firearm offences. He has been bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 9 August. A 46-year-old Bendigo man was interviewed and released pending further enquiries.
Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Dwyer said Victoria Police is focused on reducing livestock and farm theft affecting regional and rural Victoria.
“Often these kinds of investigations can be quite complex however we want to reassure the community that police take reports of stock theft very seriously.
“Our AGLOs are an important resource within Victoria Police and have expert skills in investigating livestock and farm crime,” said Detective Senior Sergeant Dwyer said.
“We continue to work closely with farmers throughout the state to encourage the reporting of livestock and farm-related thefts.
“If a member of the public wishes to speak to an AGLO they can call their local police station and request to speak to one,” he said.
“It’s important that any incident is always reported to police at the earliest opportunity so that we can investigate fully.”
If you see any suspicious behaviour then we encourage you to report this to police or to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
Victoria Police said the AGLOs oversee farm crime and livestock theft investigations across Victoria where required, provide advice guidance and assistance to other officers, establish and maintain relationships with the farming community. They also encourage reporting of livestock theft, maintain a contemporary knowledge of local trends and issues and engage with partners to identify and mitigate risks in farming practice.