Police bust crime gang for 25 alleged burglaries

TEAM WORK: Detective Inspector Lew Strohfeldt looks on as Police Minister Jack Dempsey announces the success of Operation Mike Snowshoe.
TEAM WORK: Detective Inspector Lew Strohfeldt looks on as Police Minister Jack Dempsey announces the success of Operation Mike Snowshoe. Claudia Baxter

A CRACKDOWN on property crime by police in the Ipswich district has led to the arrests of 511 people on 1500 charges, thanks to the efforts of the Ipswich District Property Team (IDPT).

Ipswich businesses are also reaping the benefits of a massive police operation, conducted by the IDPT, called Operation Mike Snowshoe - which wrapped up yesterday.

The operation, conducted by a 22-officer strong team, executed eight search warrants and arrested nine people on 67 charges relating to 25 break and enters across the district.

Ipswich Inspector Lew Strohfeldt said the Ipswich team had worked in conjunction with other Brisbane property teams since its inception in November and stressed their job was far from over.

"We've got the Ipswich District Property Team ... and that team conducts operations to identify offenders and solve property crime in the Ipswich district," he said.

"As a result of information we have received and analysis done in relation to these premises offences, Operation Mike Snowshoe was commenced in April by the property team.

"We have identified the offenders and have put them before the court.

"We are increasing the Ipswich District Property Team to 25 next week. We intend to make Ipswich a safer place."

Some of the businesses targeted included fast food outlets, coffee shops, computer stores, a four-wheel-drive business and a swimming pool shop.

"The offences typically occurred between 1am and 7am, involved two or three offenders, as well as similarities in relation to method of entry and type of property stolen," Insp Strohfeldt said.

Subway stores in Ipswich have also been targeted for money while four-wheel-drive accessories had been a particular target of the thieves with property to the value of $20,000 taken in one break and enter.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the arrests of offenders were "a great result for the people of Ipswich".

"It is not just good, hard police work. It is the way the community have provided information to say 'enough is enough' to these criminals," he said.

"Robberies for Ipswich are down 33% compared to the same period last year.

"Unlawful entries are down by 20% ... and this is a great credit to the Ipswich community.

"Crimestopper reporting has gone up 300%, so the community has more confidence than ever before in our police."

On the final day of Operation Mike Snowshoe, four men were arrested including a 23-year-old Redbank Plains man (24 charges), a 37-year-old Collingwood Park man (three charges), a 28-year-old Collingwood Park man (six charges), and an 18-year-old Redbank Plains man (six offences).

Police expect to lay further charges as a result of the operation as investigations continue into other break and enters, including the offence shown in the footage pictured on this page.

Around 4am on Saturday, May 3, two offenders smashed the front glass windows of a computer business and a neighbouring cafe at a complex on Brisbane Road at Redbank.

One of the offenders entered the coffee shop but left empty-handed.

Topics:  burglary

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