Man charged with slew of burglaries

Pierra Willix and Phil HickeySound Telegraph
Rockingham Court.
Camera IconRockingham Court. Credit: WA News

A 30-year-old man has appeared in court after he was charged with stealing more than $141,000 worth of goods from a string of business across Perth’s southern suburbs.

Mathew Colin Hartley appeared in Rockingham Magistrate’s Court last Tuesday.

He was arrested the previous night after a traffic stop.

He is facing nine charges of stealing, six aggravated burglaries, a charge of aggravated burglary with intent and one charge of stealing a motor vehicle.

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The court was told that between June 22 and July 8, Mr Hartley allegedly stole a Ford worth $50,000 from a car dealer in Melville.

The next day, he allegedly broke into a Golden Bay home and stole tools worth $1000.

Police also allege that on June 29, Mr Hartley broke into Jaycar Electronics in Rockingham and stole $35,000 worth of electronics.

Days later, on July 2, police say he broke into SportsPower in Mandurah and stole $5000 worth of clothing.

It is also alleged he broke into a kid’s play centre — GymbaROO in Mandurah.

On July 8, Mr Hartley allegedly broke into Tackle World in Falcon and stole $15,000 worth of fishing rods and accessories.

Mr Hartley is facing aggravated burglary and stealing charges related to the theft of $5000 worth of tools from Phillips Engineering in Henderson and an excavator and trailer worth $35,000 from a steel fabricator in Henderson.

Mr Hartley has been charged with stealing three car licence plates, one from a car dealership in Rockingham and two from homes between June 25 and July 8.

He has not pleaded to any of the charges, but did speak in court to say he understood them all.

His arrest followed a wave of burglaries on businesses in the region in recent weeks which left a trail of destruction and a huge damage bill.

Police will allege that as a result of the traffic stop they found a large haul of stolen property including sporting goods and up to 80 fishing rods.

It will be alleged Mr Hartley used a stolen Ford Ranger in some of the burglaries.

Acting Commander Andy Greatwood said the operation would continue until all offenders responsible for the latest string of break-ins were caught.

“We have got other leads and we are certainly looking at other suspects,” he said.

“The operation will continue until they have been apprehended.”

Acting Commander Greatwood said he wanted to reassure the community police were doing all they could to tackle crime in the area.

“We are well on top of crime down in the Mandurah and Rockingham area, we have taken swift action especially in relation to this series of burglaries and we will continue to do so,” he said.

Mr Hartley did not apply for bail and will next appear in court in August.

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