ACT News


Bail denied after alleged theft of Land Cruisers

A MAN who allegedly broke into the offices of Balloon Aloft in Canberra and stole six sets of car keys before returning on subsequent evenings to steal two white Toyota Land Cruisers has been denied bail.

Benjamin Towney, 37, of no stable address, was already on bail for theft charges when he appeared at the ACT Magistrates Court on Saturday.

Constable Paul Maher told the court Towney was arrested as he was trying to flee a house in Pearce. He said police searched the property of his former partner in Mcgee Place and found items, including champagne and keys, identified by the owners of Balloon Aloft as stolen from their office.

Constable Maher said forensic fingerprint evidence linked Towney to the break-in at the tourism operator's offices.

One Land Cruiser was found 50 metres from the property where Towney was arrested but the second vehicle is still missing.

In denying Towney's bail application, Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said the man's ''extensive criminal history'' along with her belief that he would not comply with bail conditions posed an unacceptable risk.

His solicitor, Necia Wearne, said her client was an ice addict.

''He is seeking rehab in relation to the issue with ice,'' Ms Wearne said.

Towney will spend Christmas behind bars at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. He will reappear before the ACT Magistrates Court on January 14.