Ken Corfield after an Australia Day break in at Corfield's Electrical
Ken Corfield after an Australia Day break in at Corfield's Electrical

Business owner’s warning after theft

AN AUSTRALIA Day break-in was the fourth in a string of thefts at Corfield's Electrical.

Managing director Ken Corfield said the most recent break-in saw the alleged thieves smash a couple of the company's surveillance cameras and return later on.

The business's staff returned to work after the long weekend to find a large hole in the fence and broken locks from their storage containers scattered across the ground.

"Straight away we were into an investigation," he said.

CCTV footage was given to police to identify the people involved.

"They were filmed breaking through the fence, then as they drove up the street, my other cameras caught them too," Mr Corfield said.

Gladstone police Sergeant Wayne Butcher said a 34-year-old man had been charged over the break-in and would appear in court on February 25.

The man was charged on eight offences including enter with intent, stealing, wilful damage, possess drug utensils, unlawful possession of suspected stolen property and three counts of enter premises and commit.

Sgt Butcher said there had been an increase in copper and business theft around the CBD and industrial areas in the last month.

"It seems to have stopped with recent arrests and increased patrols," he said.

Mr Corfield said he would continue to work with police.

"It's a joint venture now to assist them," he said.

"We see the frustration on their face. They come here for fingerprints but we've got them everywhere.

"So, we go through the camera system first and hand that over."

Ken Corfield with copper wire like the kind stolen from Corfield’s Electrical
Ken Corfield with copper wire like the kind stolen from Corfield’s Electrical

Mr Corfield said he'd heard of other businesses in the region also being hit.

"The problem with the electric contracting industry is the thieves are coming for the copper," Mr Corfield said.

He urged other businesses to follow suit and install cameras and take other preventive measures.

"Please take away the mice food," he said. "The rats are coming for it all the time."

To deter would-be thieves, Mr Corfield now stores the copper wiring inside.

He said his 15 cameras were watching everything going on at the business.

"You walk up to the fence and bump your head on a wire and I've got you," he said.