THIRTEEN powerful firearms have been stolen in the Glen Innes area in the past two weeks and police say they’re ramping up their investigations to track down who’s responsible.
The most recent theft happened at the weekend, when eight high-powered rifles were stolen from a Railway St house.
Police were called to the house on Sunday morning, where the thieves had broken into a locked safe and stolen the firearms. However, a second safe was left untouched.
New England Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Greig Stier said a Chiappa 12-gauge shotgun, CZ .22 rifle, Ruger .22 Hornet, Sako .22, Remington .243 Winchester, Sako .234 Winchester, Lithgow .303 and Remington .308 Winchester were stolen from the house.
He launched a public appeal into the whereabouts of the guns, as well as five firearms that were stolen from a Macquarie St house in Glen Innes in late June.
The Weatherby vanguard .308, Rossie .22 magnum pump action, Howa Hogue .22 250, JW .22 firearm and a Howa .223 firearm with a Blackhawk pistol grip were stolen, as was ammunition.
“We believe there are some similarities between the thefts, but there’s nothing to link them as yet,” Inspector Stier said.
“We’re very concerned by the thefts. You only have to look at the gun crime in Western Sydney to know this is an issue across the state.
“We’ll leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of this.”
Inspector Stier said he believed the most recent break-in was a targeted attack.
“They would have known the guns were in there. There was another cabinet, which was untouched during the incident,” he said.
“Certainly someone would have had knowledge, or would have heard from someone else, that the firearms were there.
“They’re all high-powered rifles and, if they get into the wrong hands, they’re deadly.
“We have no intelligence telling us that these were stolen to be resold, but we believe they’re no doubt being passed on.
“But to who they’re being passed on to, we can’t say. But I suppose our concern is that they’re being passed on to people with criminal backgrounds.”
With several other reported gun thefts in the New England region so far this year, Inspector Stier said police would be looking at each case individually before it was put together “as a whole”.