Sprung copper thief ordered to serve community for huge metal haul

Tuesday 21 September, 2021

Theft offences have plummeted even further in South Australia as SAPOL continues to catch out amoral criminals who steal from others.

SAPOL officers conducted a search at a Murray Bridge home as part of an investigation into copper theft on 8 July.

They found 400 metres of stripped copper wiring and other evidence indicating about 56 kilograms of stolen copper had already been sold.

A 24-year-old man was arrested and charged with unlawful possession and refused bail. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to complete 120 hours of community service.

“A word of warning for all thieves – if you’re stupid enough to test your mettle against SAPOL you will end up in handcuffs,” Police Minister Vincent Tarzia said.

“SAPOL’s July crime statistics show a decrease of more than 8,000 Theft and Related Offences when compared to the previous rolling year.

“That’s 8,195 South Australians in total who have avoided becoming victims of theft thanks to SAPOL’s proactive and targeted action.

“SAPOL does a great job keeping our community safe, but we all have a part to play.

“If you have information about a theft or any crime, contact Crime Stoppers SA on 1800 333 000 or make a report online at www.crimestoppers.com.au.”

When the 12-month period from August 2020 to July 2021 is compared to the previous rolling year, the latest SAPOL data reveals that:

  • Offences Against Person/Property decreased by 9% or 10,441 offences.
  • Serious Criminal Trespass decreased by 17% or 2,506 offences.
  • Total Offences Against Property decreased by 12% or 11,313 offences.
  • Theft and Related Offences decreased 16% or 8,195 offences.
  • Other Theft decreased by 19% or 4,805 offences.
  • Property Damage and Environmental decreased by 6% or 1,318 offences.

The data continues to show that South Australia remains safe and strong with the overall crime rate yet again dipping by more than 13,000 offences (11%) when compared to same 12-month period a decade ago.

A tiny 4% rise in Total Offences Against the Person is a result of legislative and system changes to the recording of particular offences within the category. It does not reflect an actual increase in offending.