TOTALLED: A mobile dental van was destroyed in a fire Tuesday night at the Gatton State School.
TOTALLED: A mobile dental van was destroyed in a fire Tuesday night at the Gatton State School. Tom Threadingham

Four granted bail on $500,000 crime spree

FOUR suspects accused of causing $500,000 damage in what was described by prosecutors as a "rampage through Gatton" were all granted bail.

A dental van adjacent to the school was gutted and the fire externally damaged one of the schools buildings.

Police charged Zachary Clarke, 17, Corey McCutcheon, 18, BJ Denton, 18 and Christopher Walker, 21, with offences relating to the crime spree, arresting them on Wednesday.

It was alleged the rampage began when the group broke into Gatton State School, stealing laptops from the classrooms.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard that Walker jumped on to the roof of the dental van and tore off a vent to get inside.

It was alleged Walker set the dental van on fire to erase evidence of the break and enter.

The dental van was positioned next to a timber building and once alight the fire spread.

The group ran from the scene across the school's oval, discarding the laptops they had stolen, the court heard.

It was also alleged as the group ran wild through the Gatton streets they caused $6000 damage to a boom gate and damaged two cars.

Damage to the dental van was estimated to be $230,000.

They were each charged with two counts of arson, entering a premises to commit and indictable offence, wilful damage and one count of wilful damage to railway property. Denton and Walker were also charged with producing dangerous drugs and possessing a utensil.

Prosecutor Constable David Thiel opposed bail for the quartet.

He noted that Walker and McCutcheon each had a "significant criminal history" and Walker owed more than $15,000 to SPER.

Denton and Clarke had no criminal history.

They will next appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court on November 28.



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