Police crack crime spree
A SPATE of car thefts, break-ins and thefts from Newcastle to Ballina came to an abrupt end on Monday after a Grafton police operation near Wooli.
According to police, the one-man crime spree was brought to a standstill when a Barnsley man was arrested in an allegedly stolen vehicle.
Police say the man was arrested and charged with three counts of take and drive a conveyance, one count of aggravated breaking, entering and stealing, two counts of breaking, entering and stealing, and one count of obtain money by deception.
It is alleged that the offences started on December 26, when the alleged offender stole a black Toyota Landcruiser and a number of electrical items from New Lambton. Later that day, at Macksville, the vehicle was detected after the driver allegedly failed to pay for petrol.
On New Year's Eve, Grafton highway police detected the vehicle on Chatsworth Island and pursued it to Woombah, where the alleged offender escaped.
The Landcruiser was recovered, along with a laptop computer, MP3 players, mobile phone and a PlayStation.
After two other vehicles were stolen in the Ballina area on New Year's Day, police were active in the Ballina and Grafton areas. Patrols of roads around Wooli resulted in three men being taken into custody. Three motor vehicles and property were recovered.