Batemans Bay bushfire looters stole $20k worth of electronics: court

Accused: Leon Elton is facing multiple charges amid allegations he and his girlfriend looted Beta Electrical after the New Year's Eve bushfires swept through Batemans Bay. Pictures: Facebook

Accused: Leon Elton is facing multiple charges amid allegations he and his girlfriend looted Beta Electrical after the New Year's Eve bushfires swept through Batemans Bay. Pictures: Facebook

A couple arrested for looting in the wake of the devastating New Year's Eve bushfires on the South Coast stand accused of thieving more than $20,000 worth of luxury electronics from Beta Electrical at Batemans Bay, the Mercury can reveal.

Kylie Pobjie, 32, and Leon Elton, 39, were arrested at their home at Central Tilba, near Narooma, on January 10 and charged with the theft of mobile phones, laptops and high-end accessories from the fire-damaged building.

Police will allege the couple travelled more than an hour from their home to the bushfire-ravaged town on January 7 and entered the fenced-off Beta Electrical store on Cranbrook Road twice in the next 24 hours.

It is alleged the pair took at least $20,000 worth of stock from the store including four Apple Macbook laptops, a pair of hair clippers, two drones, Apple TVs, Google Chromecast devices and various Apple-branded accessories.

A police investigation resulted in detectives raiding a house in Narooma on Friday afternoon. Pobjie and Elton were arrested a short time later.

They were charged with a host of offences including entering a building with intent to commit an offences and larceny.

Kylie Pobjie

Kylie Pobjie

Both sought bail in Wollongong Local Court on Saturday but it was refused.

Meanwhile, police arrested a third man on Saturday evening amid allegations he was found with two of the stolen mobile phones.

Jeremy John Holman is facing one count of receiving stolen property after police discovered him in possession of three new mobile phones during a vehicle stop at Batemans Bay.

Police will allege the phones were among those reported missing from the Beta Electrical store on January 8 and that Holman had purchased them the following day knowing they had probably been stolen.

But, Holman, through his Legal Aid lawyer, told the court he had purchased two of the phones for $150 each from the 'Batemans Bay Buy, Swap and Sell' Facebook page and had only picked them up on Saturday morning when he had returned from holidays on the mid-North Coast.

The lawyer said the case against Holman was "entirely circumstantial".

However, Registrar Peter Ritchie noted Holman had refused to reveal who sold him the phones or where he bought them, and rejected his bail application.

All three co-accused will reappear in Batemans Bay court on Monday where they are each expected to make fresh bail applications.