Boy caught after $130K jewel theft

A 14-YEAR-OLD boy politely asked an elderly North Rockhampton man to use his toilet before allegedly robbing him of almost $130,000 worth of jewellery last Friday.

His two accomplices, aged 16 and 17, patiently waited outside the Park Avenue home until the boy returned, his pockets stuffed with gemstones and jewellery, police said.

But within a few hours, quick-thinking North Rockhampton police officers had three boys in custody and recovered most of the missing jewels.

Police said the boys knocked on the man's door at 3pm.

They said that while the 14-year-old was in the house he searched the bedroom and found a quantity of jewellery.

He allegedly concealed it and left the home.

A short while later, police said, the man reported the missing jewels, quickly suspecting the three boys who had earlier been at his home.

North Rockhampton police station officer-in-charge acting Senior Sergeant Graeme Paterson said once one of the boys was located, further enquiries quickly led police to the missing property.

Constables Matt Tonkin, Aaron Minns, Sean Barnes and Erin Jones were in charge of the initial investigation, before the three alleged culprits were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Branch to be charged.

Acting Senior Sergeant Paterson yesterday praised the work of his “enthusiastic” officers.

“Our police showed tenacity and thoroughness to identify and locate the offenders quickly,” he said yesterday.

“The prompt action definitely helped see the return of the stolen jewellery before it disappeared.

“The community should feel confident that their complaints are being pursued by enthusiastic officers like these.”

The 14-year-old boy was charged with burglary and held in custody over the weekend.

He appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday, where police objected to bail.

However, a magistrate granted him bail, but placed him on a 24-hour curfew not to leave the house unless accompanied by his father.

A 16-year-old boy was charged with receiving stolen property and dealt with under the Juvenile Justice Act in court on Saturday.

Another boy, 17, was charged with receiving stolen property, but that matter had not yet been dealt with.

Police said a small number of jewels were still missing. CIB officers were investigating.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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