Emma Channon

Farmer tackles thief in shed

AN UNSUSPECTING thief who was tackled to the ground in a citizen's arrest by a property owner has appeared in court.

Matthew Pieter Johan Brauns and co-offender Naithen Gary Richards entered the Hermitage property about 10.20pm on March 16 and began rifling through the farm's shed.

The pair siphoned diesel from a tractor and stole baling twine and tractor connections.

Two brothers who own the property attended the scene after spotting the vehicle from a nearby house.

One of the owners yesterday told the Daily News that he was wary at the time of the incident, due to a spate of thefts at the property over the past two years.

He said his brother tackled Brauns to the ground, as the 33-year-old attempted to flee when confronted. The men told Brauns he was under citizen's arrest and was being detained until police arrived.

Richards, who drove his car to the scene, fled but later admitted involvement in the crimes to police.

Brauns and 18-year-old Richards each pleaded guilty in the Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday to one charge of entering a dwelling with intent and entering a vehicle at night and in company.

The men told the court they were motivated by financial hardship and said it was the first time they had engaged in such activity.

Neither man has any previous criminal history.

Brauns was fined $750 and no conviction was recorded.

Co-offender Richards was fined $500 and no conviction was recorded against him either.

A third alleged co-offender will appear in the court on April 17.


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