THREE men have faced court over nearly 250 charges relating to car theft and burglary in the Ipswich area.
A dedicated police investigation, codenamed Operation Vertical, started in the wake of a crime wave in the streets of Goodna, Springfield and Redbank Plains in February.
Police allege that over several months, John James Appleton, 19, of Goodna, Dayle William Sneddon, 21, of Goodna and Joel Dennis Brown, 24, of Ellen Grove, broke into 106 vehicles, unlawfully using 23 of them.
Between them, the three men also faced 109 stealing charges, six burglary charges, two fraud charges and one count of receiving stolen goods.
Detective Inspector Mick Niland said the offences had been committed over an area covering the Gold Coast right up to Brisbane’s northern suburbs.
“Police responded to a sharp rise in unlawful entry offences, particularly in Goodna, Redbank Plains and Springfield,” Insp Niland said.
“These are the three major arrests to come from that operation, along with several other people.”
Police will allege they used forensic evidence to link the three men to the crimes.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mick Trezise said extra resources had been put into the affected suburbs to catch those responsible.
“This was effectively a crime spree,” Snr Sgt Trezise said.
“Two detectives from Goodna were able to link these offences together in what was a complex investigation.”
Of the three accused, Appleton faces the most charges, with 65 counts of unlawful entry of a motor vehicle against his name, in addition to 66 stealing charges.
Sneddon faces a total of 84 charges, including 38 of unlawful entry of a motor vehicle.
Brown faces 11 charges, including one count of burglary and six stealing.
Appleton faced Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday and was remanded in custody to appear again on September 8.
Sneddon also appeared yesterday and was bailed to appear on September 12.
Brown faced court last week and was remanded in custody to appear on September 7.
Police have urged members of the public to report crimes.
“It’s just timely that we send the message out that if people have any information that can assist police, they should contact Crime Stoppers or their local police station,” Insp Niland said.
“If they are timely with their information it can result in offenders being caught.”
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