Double up security, police urge

NEW England police have joined the chorus of officers urging farmers to secure their firearms at home in the wake of another firearm theft.

A .22 calibre rifle was stolen from a secured and approved safe in a shed on a Torryburn property over a six-day period before it was discovered last Friday.

Superintendent Fred Trench said the property was largely used as a weekender and was uninhabited for extended periods of time.

"There are many properties in our region that do not have occupants staying there on a daily basis," he said. "These would obviously be seen as easy targets by criminals."

Four firearms were stolen in a similar break-in near Moonbi last week while three guns were taken from a home in Gunnedah and another from a Mungindi location.

Last week, police issued a warning for firearms holders to take extra precautions, but, with another firearm in the wrong hands, police said the onus was on locals to double up on security.

"I would ask that people take extra care in securing items, particularly firearms, when they know they will not be back to a property for some time," Superintendent Trench said.

"This case has shown that even approved safes are not infallible.

"If you have the option of storing your firearms in more secure locations, such as regularly-occupied residences, I would urge you to do so."

Camping equipment was also stolen from the Torryburn property and a crime scene was established with several items of interest seized for forensic testing.

"If any results are obtained they will be vigorously followed up," Superintendent Trench said.

"There is no place for unauthorised firearms in our society and we will be doing all we can to recover the items and take action against the offenders."

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of any stolen guns is urged to contact local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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