Victim to keep guard up

THE final member of a trio of thieves caught red-handed in a late-night heist has been sentenced over the crime but the victim says he is not letting his guard down.

The offenders attempted to steal tractor parts, diesel and baling twine from the property at the Hermitage.

James Arthur Richards was one of the two members of the group who were detained and placed under citizen's arrest by two proactive victims.

The 26-year-old appeared in Warwick Magistrates Court this week and was fined $750 and ordered to pay $979 restitution.

Co-offenders Naithen Gary Richards and Matthew Pieter John Brauns were fined $500 and $750 respectively for their involvement.

None of the offenders had a conviction recorded.

A spokesman for the victim, Bartley Farming, said thefts had been an ongoing problem for the organisation for the past two years.

"I have lasted six to eight months with very limited sleep, I put in extra security measures and I still had to act on the night," he said.

The convicted trio have all said this incident was their first visit to the property.

The two victims confronted the thieves at 10pm on March 16, despite not knowing whether the men would be armed or even how many intruders were there.

"We were concerned but we knew if we didn't act we wouldn't get them," he said. "When I came across them they were like rats running out of the shed."

The primary producer said the two detained men took little persuading to get on the ground after being told police were on the way.

"(James Richards) knew what to do. He went to jelly and got to the ground and said 'I don't want to fight you'," he said.

Brauns also surrendered but Naithen Richards made a short-lived getaway and was located by police the following morning.

The victim said he would remain vigilant and urged other property owners to do the same.

"I would tell all landholders to have security measures involved on all properties to help prevent this type of thing," he said.

The victim praised the efforts of local police for their quick response and thorough investigation.

Topics:  court, thieves, warwick magistrates court



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