Easter Sunday burglary spree

Louis Andrews April 09, 2012

A “career criminal” is behind bars on remand after allegedly committing a spree of daylight burglaries in less than three hours on Easter Sunday.

Ian Kelly was refused bail this morning after being charged with three burglaries, two associated thefts, drug possession and being in possession of property believed to be stolen.

Police found the 47-year-old crouched in a hedge near the Bentley Suites apartments in Forrest yesterday afternoon.

The ACT Magistrates Court heard an alarm was triggered at a home in Franklin Street at about 12.45, and police later arrived at the scene to find a window smashed.

About an hour later a Bentley Suites resident called police after allegedly returning to the home and disturbing someone in the process of a burglary.

Constable Daniel Vickers told the court that police arrived and spotted Kelly in the vicinity but, when the defendant noticed the officers, he began walking in the opposition direction.

The officer said the accused man was later found hiding in a nearby hedge.

Kelly was allegedly carrying a backpack filled with jewelry and watches taken from two of the three burgled premises.

His pockets were also allegedly filled with jewelry, memorabilia and an amount of what police believe to be cannabis.

The allegedly stolen property was worth an estimated $6000, and was taken from two apartments in the Bentley Suites complex.

Kelly agreed to be interviewed by police, and told the officers he was acting as a “cockatoo” – a colloquial term for lookout – for other people who committed the robberies.

The court heard Kelly, who recently served an 18-month sentence for similar offences, had come to the attention of ACT Policing's property crime targeting team in recent months.

“I'm particularly concerned that the defendant will reoffend,” Constable Vickers said.

“It appears to me that he appears to be a career criminal in relation to property crime.”

But Magistrate Beth Campbell said while she accepted the man was “on the police radar” she could not take that into account when considering whether to grant bail.

Kelly's lawyer, Darryl Perkins, said his client helped care for his mother, who recently had a hip-replacement, and a sister who had been diagnosed with cancer.

The magistrate, however, noted Kelly had been caught “almost red-handed” and was “no spring chicken anymore”.

“The reality is he has an appalling record and there's nothing in it that would give me any confidence, for example that he's suddenly at a cross-roads,” Ms Campbell said.

She said the risk to the community was too great, and refused bail.

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