Pair face court over Bendigo, Castlemaine burglaries

Police at the scene of the Bendigo Electronics break in last week.
Police at the scene of the Bendigo Electronics break in last week.

Two men have had their bail applications denied after they were arrested in relation to a week-long crime spree across the state, including Bendigo. 

Brenton Blaby and Billy Slater are accused of causing thousands of dollars of damage to shops and service stations in Bendigo Castlemaine, Ballarat, Geelong and Tatura. 

The pair faced the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Monday where they had their bail applications denied.

Between December 23 and 28, 2017, Slater is accused of stealing $81 worth of petrol from a service station in Sebastopol, throwing a brick through a bakery window in Armstrong Street, and stealing $6500 worth of video equipment from Hop Temple.  

Police allege Slater’s white Ford Falcon with numbers plates reading “leadfoot” was captured on CCTV footage in the vicinity of the crimes. 

On Decmber 29, 2017, a police member spotted a car similar to Slater’s Falcon, this time with council number plates, but did not pursue the vehicle after it sped away dangerously. 

The car was later found about 5am in Taylors Lakes crashed into a pole. 

The occupants of the car had fled the scene but blood was found on the steering wheel and Slater's finger prints were found on items in the car. 

Police prosecution claim Blaby and Slater on January 6 this year smashed the front window of the Inn Of Kong restaurant to steal alcohol, causing about $500 worth of damage.  

It is also alleged the pair smashed a window of a jewellery store in Tatura on January 8, stealing about $1600 worth of jewellery and causing about $3000 in damage. 

On January 9 police allege Slater and Blaby along with an unknown male and female, smashed the front window of a service station in Castlemaine before removing hundreds of dollars from the register.  

The same day police claim they kicked in the door of Jaycar electronics in Bendigo and stole camera equipment from from the store to the value of about $5000. 

The next day, police claim Blaby and Slater smashed their way into The Cash Store and then ARB in Geelong stealing upwards of $3000 in cash and various tools. 

The pair were arrested on Sunday, January 14, and brought to the Ballarat Police Station where Blaby made admissions but Slater refused to cooperate with police. 

Both men blamed their ice addictions for the crime spree with Blaby admitting he was using up to $2000 worth of the drug a week. 

Magistrate Gregory Robinson denied bail to both men as he deemed the pair at too great a risk of re-offending if allowed into the community on bail. 

"This constitutes a substantial crime spree conflicting a considerable economic loss," he said.