Alleged ‘brazen’ copper thieves denied bail


UPDATED: ONE man caught while allegedly trying to steal copper wire from an Ergon Energy depot spent the night in hospital after a police dog bit him.

Nicholas Ryan Holzinger and Ben Matthew Eastham were arrested at the Garbutt depot early on Monday morning.

The pair were denied bail at the Townsville Magistrates Court on Monday.

It will be alleged the pair broke into the electricity depot to steal copper wire, when police dog Cannon rounded up the two copper wire thieves at the Dalrymple Road depot.

One man was found inside one of the large spools used to store wire.

Prosecutor Tasmin Murphy said Holzinger was allegedly captured on CCTV at the premises and had large plyers and a shifter on him when he was arrested.

Mr Murphy said police objected to his bail application because of the "brazenness" of his allegedoffending.

Both men were charged with enter premises with intent and possession of an implement that was being or about to be used in relation to particular offences.

Duty Lawyer Victoria Twivey said Holzinger, 31, was employed on a fulltime basis as a tree lopper.

She said her client, Holzinger, wanted bail to seek legal advice.

Magistrate Viviana Keagan said if the charge was proven, the alleged offender would be sentenced to imprisonment.

"There is no reason then, to be creeping around Ergon in the middle of the night to steal copper and then be arrested on site," she said.

Ms Twivey told Ms Keagan Eastham had a job lined up as a concreter and was expected to start on Tuesday.

"Two years ago was the last time he held employment, that was around the time of the floods," Ms Twivey told the court.

She added while Eastham had two failures to appear, there had been no previous breaches of bail on his criminal record.

Ms Keagan said alleged offenders often were about to start work when they came before the court.

"He's on bail for some serious criminal offences, which is why he is in a show cause position," Ms Keagan said.

Eastham is on bail for a number of charges, including weapons offences.

Ms Keagan denied his bail application. Holzinger and Eastham's cases will return to the court on March 9.



INITIAL: One of Townsville's leading crime fighters, Police Dog Cannon has rounded up two alleged copper wire thieves after they were caught in the act overnight.

Around 1.55am police were called to reports, two men had broken into a Garbutt electricity depot on Dalrymple Road.


Police Dog Cannon located two men at the scene, including one man who was very well hidden.

They were both arrested and taken into custody.

A 31-year-old Aitkenvale man and a 43-year-old Mount Louisa man were both charged with entering a premises with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of implements used in relation to the offence.

The two men are due to appear in Townsville Magistrates Court today.

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Originally published as Alleged 'brazen' copper thieves denied bail