Alleged thief slapped with surprise COVID-19 fine
AN ALLEGED camping thief has been apprehended by police and slapped with a COVID-19 infringement.
A QPS spokesman said around 1.40pm on April 10, a man was spotted by a member of the public allegedly carrying stolen items from the Gayndah Fruitgrowers Mitre 10 Fishing and Outdoor Camping store.
"It will be alleged a man was observed by a member of the public carrying two air mattresses, two sleeping bags, and an esky with the tags still dangling off them walking towards Barrow St, Gayndah," he said.
"Police were called and attended the Capper St business where a number of louvres were found to be broken."
A 39-year-old Gold Coast man was later located nearby and arrested by police.
He was charged with break and enter, burglary, breach of bail offences, and breaching a public health directive.
He is due to face Gayndah Magistrates Court on August 7.
Gayndah officer in charge Sergeant Don Auld said this was the first coronavirus infringement they've given, which will cost the 39-year-old man $1334.
"You're only allowed to go out for those essential reasons from your home address," Sgt Auld said.
"His home is in Elanora on the Gold Coast, and his essential reason can't be to go out to commit a crime."
Sgt Auld wanted to stress to the public that these restrictions need to be followed, otherwise they will cop exorbitant fines.
"Make sure you're only leaving the house for essential reasons, and keep looking at the health directives," he said.
"There've been incidences in town where people are gathering in numbers greater than 10, and it's just not on.
"You'll all be fined, regardless if you're an Australian national or not."
Sgt Auld went onto say there were parties still being held on the weekend, and they'll be looking to take action against those who are contravening COVID-19 restrictions.
"The focus is to stop the spread of disease through out community, and we're encouraging people to obey those restrictions."
On-the-spot fines can be issued by the Queensland Police Service to individuals who fail to abide by these health directions.
They have issued 827 public health direction infringements in Queensland as of Tuesday, April 14.