Raid nets two guns

A Warrnambool crime scene investigator gathers evidence after two guns were stolen from Benallack’s Sports.

A Warrnambool crime scene investigator gathers evidence after two guns were stolen from Benallack’s Sports.

TWO guns remain unaccounted for after they were stolen from Benallack’s Sports store early Friday morning.

The guns were stolen from the former workshop area of the sports store’s Scott Street building at about 3.30am.

Store owner Andrew Benallack said a security monitoring company alerted him of a possible break-in after sensors picked up activity in the building.

“By the time I arrived at the building the offenders had already gone, but there were tyre marks evident in the naturestrip out the front,” he said.

“The offenders had used a gas torch to cut through a heavy padlock which was secured to a chain on the front security doors.

“They also tried to burn the deadlock in the door.

“They then smashed the glass window pane on the middle of the door and gained entry.”

Thieves used an oxy torch to remove a heavy lock from a security grate.

Thieves used an oxy torch to remove a heavy lock from a security grate.

The thieves appeared to make a B-line for the gun display, which was covered with a locked roller door and not visible.

An angle grinder was used to cut a hole large enough to reach into the display and remove the guns.

Mr Benallack said the thieves had cut a security cable holding the guns in order to remove them.

The guns stolen were a Winchester model 70 calibre 300WSM and a Tikka T3 calibre 243.

“The Winchester was a rifle only, but the Tikka was a package, fitted out with a scope and accessorised ready for use,” he said.

“No ammunition was taken, as ammunition is not kept on the premises.”

Mr Benallack said the raid appeared to be targeted specifically at obtaining guns, as a range of power tools remained untouched.

Police from Warrnambool’s Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) unit attended the scene at about 9am and examined it for forensic evidence.

Police are also investigating a burglary carried out at Reicha’s Drapery in Curdie Street Cobden sometime between 8pm Thursday (April 16) and 7am Friday (April 17).

A Ford courier utility believed to be stolen from the Terang Racecourse was used in the raid.

Sergeant Heather Morris of Cobden Police said the ute was reversed into the front window of the business premises.

“They have stolen two rip curl wheelie bags and about $750 in cash,” she said.

“The business owners are still working out what other items were taken.

The ute was later found burnt-out on Maguires Road at Dixie.

Investigations are continuing as to whether the two burglaries are linked.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Warrnambool Police on 6660 1333 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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