Thief’s clumsy glue job after taking jewellery

A FURNITURE removalist helped himself to a customer’s safe before gluing the door shut in a clumsy attempt to cover his tracks.

When the elderly owners later forced the safe open they discovered about $15,000 in jewellery was missing.

The details emerged when the thief, a dad of six from Drewvale, went before Ipswich Magistrates Court for sentence.

Jeremy Lee Egan, 37, who is already in jail, pleaded guilty to stealing after a previous conviction; doing wilful damage (to a safe); and driving when licence disqualified on the Cunningham Highway at Purga on December 24, 2018.

Prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said Egan stole the jewellery and damaged the safe on October 1 last year at Upper Kedron.

Egan was working as a removalist and his victims were 75 and 74.

He loaded furniture including a large wooden dresser that had a locked safe securely bolted to the inside.

Egan had access to the safe when delivering it to the victim’s home, the court heard.

It was not until several days later the owners noticed the damage.

The door’s locking mechanism had been broken and Egan attempted to glue it shut. The court heard the safe was also detached from its mount.

Fingerprints taken from the safe also belonged to Egan.

The stolen jewellery was valued at $14,900 and included necklaces, diamond rings, chains and brooches.

During a search of Egan’s house, police located a missing diamond ring and a bracelet, but jewellery valued at $12,700 is still missing.

Sgt Dick said Egan was disqualified from driving for four years in August, 2018.

On Christmas Eve that year, he was snapped speeding at Purga.

Defence lawyer Brendan Beavon said Egan’s partner of 15 years and mother to their six children had since given him an ultimatum to stop taking drugs.

“He began using ice 10 years ago. It became daily use and he was injecting,” he said.

Magistrate David Shepherd said Egan committed an appalling breach of trust.

He said Egan had a terrible history. Mr Shepherd said while his conduct could be attributed to drug use, there was no excuse. Egan was sentenced to 18-months jail and to lesser jail terms. He was disqualified from driving for two years.

Egan will receive parole release on April 16.

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