The Riverina’s police are devoting efforts and resources to patrolling areas around Matong this week, in response to the annual Burning Seed festival. Running from September 26 until October 2, the event will feature a heavy police presence, with emphasis on driving, drug, and alcohol offences.
Coupling with the short-term focus, Junee police have renewed its rural crime targets, following a resurgence of livestock thefts.
The theft of 80 lambs and 30 ewes with an estimated combined cost of $28,600 has prompted investigation.
It is believed the livestock were removed from the Marinna property on the Olympic Highway between July 19 and August 26, though the incident was only reported on Monday September 24.
Sergeant David Dechene said the incident is an apt reminder of the need for the community to remain vigilant, and to report suspicious circumstances promptly.
“Notify us when you see anything out of the ordinary, including vehicles that have no business being there, drones flying overhead, or even a horse floats.
“If we catch them on the spot, that’s the best case scenario but the sooner we know the better.”
A 26-year-old Victorian man fronted Wagga District Court for sentencing on Monday September 24, after he was caught with more than 32 grams of magic mushrooms and six grams of cannabis at last year’s festival.
Christopher Lorenc was charged with supplying a prohibited drug after he admitted he had planned to brew the mushrooms into a tea for about 10 of his friends.
He will return to court in six weeks when his intensive correction order will be finalised.
Drone pilot school
In consolidating efforts to eradicate drone based crime, Junee police have committed to teaching the next generation basic drone safety.
Over two days on October 4 and 5, Senior Constable David Whiter will host a drone school for primary and high school aged students.
The drone pilot program has been three months in the making and is a joint venture with Junee Shire Council, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and the police force.
“We talk a lot about crimes committed with drones, but we want to focus on how useful they are when used safely and legally,” said Senior Constable Whiter.
"We have this video from a bloke in Gundagai who musters sheep using his drone.”
Alongside the demonstrations and safety videos, the program will also include an obstacle course with the opportunity for students to operate two types of drones.
The pilot school will be open to up to 40 participants, aged 10 and above, with an information session to be run in the evening for parents.