Police hunt offenders after multiple break-ins

Bendigo police are warning people to hide their car keys and secure their properties after a string of crimes across the city.

Multiple vehicles were stolen, a business was ram-raided and an elderly man was the victim of a home invasion while he slept.

The 89-year-old man was left shaken after someone entered his bedroom at his home in Broad Parade, Spring Gully, overnight on Sunday.

The offender stole the man’s computer, mobile phone, some cash, and the keys to his mobility scooter.

Detective Sergeant Steve Rainey said it was an outrageous crime where the thief had taken items that helped the man maintain his independence.

“It’s just a despicable crime that an elderly person has been subjected to this sort of invasion in his home,” he said. 

“He’s really shaken up.”

The home invasion follows a string of crimes in the Eaglehawk-Long Gully area at the weekend.

The first was at 2am on Saturday where a Holden utility and a Nissan utility were stolen from a property in Hinch Street, Long Gully.

Almost three hours later a business was burgled in High Street, Eaglehawk, followed by a ram raid at the nearby Subway.

Offenders managed to break into the fast food restaurant and tried to break into the safe before police arrived.

One offender left on foot and a second offender fled in the stolen Holden ute. The stolen Nissan ute was recovered at the scene.

At 6.45am, the Eaglehawk Fire Brigade was broken into with thieves making off with CFA clothing and equipment.

Eaglehawk Fire Brigade captain Hayden Allen said members were gutted over the theft.

“You don’t expect people to target a community organisation,” he said. “It’s disappointing.”

Shortly after the CFA break-in, the Holden ute was set alight and destroyed at a reserve in Wells Street, Long Gully.

At 7am, a bicycle was stolen from Lester Street, Eaglehawk, before being dumped at another house in Eaglehawk Road where a Holden Cruze and other property was stolen. 

A few minutes later a Honda motorcycle was stolen from Upper California Gully Road. ​

The motorbike was then involved in a collision with a parked car at 1.30pm at the intersection of Wood and Weatherall streets, California Gully. The rider was seen leaving in the Holden Cruze.

On Sunday, police raided an address in Thomas Street where three men had earlier been sighted in the Cruze. Two women were arrested and a large amount of stolen property was recovered.

On Monday, police arrested a third person at the Bendigo hospital who was being treated for injuries consistent with the crash on Sunday. He is assisting police with inquires.

Detective Sergeant Rainey said motor vehicle thefts during burglaries were becoming more prevalent and offenders were showing a total lack of regard for victims. 

“The offenders have become brazen and callous,” he said. 

“They are happy to break in at any time of the day or night and steal cars.”

Detective Sergeant Rainey asked people to be vigilant in light of the weekend’s crimes and to secure their property.

He urged people to not leave their car keys in visible locations inside the house, such as the kitchen table or next to the front door.

Anyone with information should contact Bendigo police on 5448 1300, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.