Police have noticed an increase in gun thefts in rural areas. Photo: File
Police have noticed an increase in gun thefts in rural areas. Photo: File

Criminals targeting rural properties to steal weapons

POLICE are urging owners of firearms to be vigilant after a spate of thefts.

Southern Regional Crime Co-ordinator, Detective Acting Superintendent Mat Kelly said it was the responsibility of all weapons licence holders to secure their firearms safely and in accordance with the Weapons Act.

"Unfortunately, criminals still continue to target rural properties to steal weapons for the black market," Supt Kelly said.

"We receive regular intelligence suggesting organised crime syndicates are coming into our rural communities to steal firearms."

Supt Kelly believes complacency has led to the increase in firearm thefts.

"The recent increase in thefts have mainly been from firearms left unsecured in vehicles or storage sheds," he said.

"We would like to remind licences firearm holders they have a responsibility under the Weapons Act to store weapons correctly - those who do not can expect prosecution."

Police will continue to conduct spot checks across the Burnett to ensure owners are storing their weapons correctly.