A PORTLAND man who stole $48,000 in 48 hours at Christmas last year has been jailed for a minimum of three years.
Vladamir Prekop, 42, yesterday pleaded guilty in the Portland Magistrates Court to burglary and theft-related offences.
Detective Senior Constable Richard Hughes, of the Warrnambool police criminal investigation unit, previously said Operation Amphibia was launched after a burglary and theft at the Mac’s Hotel on Dunlop Street, Mortlake, about 8pm on Christmas Day last year netted $27,000 in cash.
Warrnambool police detectives arrested Prekop on May 18 this year.
Detective Senior Constable Hughes said the accused man was taken to Portland police station, where he allegedly made full admissions to the burglary and theft.
“As part of the investigation the man was questioned in relation to a $21,000 cash burglary and theft which occurred at Murphy’s Transport Solutions at Whitehall Street,Yarraville, on December 23 last year,” he said. “He also made full admission to that crime during a police interview.”
It is understood Prekop had a long list of prior convictions for dishonesty-related offences.
Detective Senior Constable Hughes attributed the success of the investigation to dogged police work.
“Mortlake uniformed police officers and the Warrnambool CIU worked together to achieve this fantastic result,” he said.
“It will be alleged he basically stole $48,000 in 48 hours and got away with it for a long time. He entered the hotel through a back door and stole money from the safe. “It was the same sort of crime at Yarraville where cash was also taken from a safe. They were opportunistic crimes.”
Detective Senior Constable Hughes said the victims were in court to witness yesterday’s hearing.