Ipswich man guilty of gun heist
A MAN accused of pulling off a “professional” gun heist at an Ipswich business has been found guilty.
In a daring and well-planned strike, thieves destroyed Queensland Shooters Supplies' security systems before breaking in through the roof.
Kurt William Wesener, 28 and Shane Mundy, 33, were both charged over the break-in and faced trials.
Ipswich District Court heard the thieves cut the store's phone lines on September 22, 2007, disabled a heat-activated security system and destroyed an external alarm.
They dropped in through the roof, smashed an internal alarm and security cameras and stole the cameras' video footage.
They took 55 guns, including revolvers and semi-automatic pistols and only about a dozen have so far been recovered.
Scenes of Crime were unable to find fingerprints or DNA at the scene, but a shoe print matching Mundy's sneakers was found on the roof, as heard during Mundy's trial last year.
Detectives investigating the case found a storage shed with guns matched to the heist, despite many of the serial numbers being scratched off, and Wesener was caught on CCTV cameras accessing the shed.
Crown prosecutor John Copley told the court Wesener was a fan of Brenden Abbott and was inspired by a movie based on his life, The Postcard Bandit, in which Abbott breaks into a bank through the roof.
Wesener had pleaded not guilty to entering a premises by a break and stealing but was found guilty by a jury this week after about four-and-a-half hours' deliberation. His co-accused Shane Mundy, 33, was found guilty for his part in the break-in in August last year and sentenced to eight years' jail with parole eligibility on August 26, 2014.
Judge Deborah Richards said in August that she had sentenced Mundy on the understanding he played a lesser role in the offence.
But Mundy has since appealed the length of his sentence on the basis it is manifestly excessive. He is awaiting the outcome.
The court was told last year that Mundy became involved in the gun shop heist to pay off a $1200 drug debt.
Wesener's case will next be mentioned on March 25 and he is expected to be sentenced after the outcome of Mundy's appeal is announced.