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Roma teen arrested on three break-and-enters in 12 hours

Police have charged a 17-year-old with several offences.
Police have charged a 17-year-old with several offences. Alistair Brightman

A CHARITY op shop, a school tuckshop and an Indian restaurant have all been victims of a break-and-enter crime spree in Roma that police have labelled as a ‘low act’.

The Salvation Army’s second hand shop on Arthur St, Roma State College’s junior campus on Hawthorne St and the Royal Indian Kitchen on McDowall St were all targets during a 12-hour period early last week.

Roma police have confirmed small amounts of cash were stolen from two of the locations, with locks broken, windows smashed and rooms trashed during the series of attacks between last Monday afternoon and the early hours of Tuesday.

A 17-year-old Roma man has been remanded in custody after being charged with entering a premises with intent, breach of bail and obstructing police.

Roma police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Barry Winter said the series of crimes, in particularly the break-and-enter of the Salvation Army, was an act of desperation.

“It’s a sign of desperation – it’s a pretty low act to be targeting charities and schools,” Snr Sgt Winter said.

“We haven’t gotten them [break-and-enters] much – this is an infrequent course of events, but it is concerning due to the level of desperation involved in it.”

Police will allege the accused entered through the rear of the Royal Indian Kitchen on Monday, March 7 around 4pm, pulling out a fly-screen before breaking glass to make it into the main restaurant, which was closed at the time.

A small amount of cash from the draws and the tip jar was stolen.

The accused is then alleged to have broken into the Salvation Army’s op-shop at some point between 1.30pm on Monday and 8am on Tuesday, which was left ransacked and a “very small amount” of cash was stolen.

Nothing was stolen from the incident at the junior campus, but classrooms and old tuckshops were left in disarray, with the draws of teacher’s desks clearly checked.

The accused will face the Roma Magistrates Court on April 27.


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