6 September 2023

Teenager fronts court following a five-day operation targeting rural crime-related offences

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Police vehicle

A man is set to face court after he allegedly failed to stop for police, during a five-day operation in the Murrumbidgee. Photo: Murrumbidgee Police District.

An Ariah Park man fronted court following an investigation into rural crime-related offences in the Murrumbidgee.

Zachary Dart, 18, faced Griffith Local Court today (6 September) and pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.

He was also allegedly charged with driving recklessly, speeding dangerously, not complying with a P2 licence, not displaying a P plate, not having safe storage of ammunition as a license holder and entering enclosed agricultural land.

Magistrate Trevor Khan set his next court day for 27 September.

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Rural Crime Prevention Team investigators established Operation Brushwood to target rural crime-related offences. They conducted a five-day operation between 24 and 28 August in the Hillston, Booligal, Hay and Rankin Springs areas.

During the operation, police patrolled the intersection of Mount Grace Road and Kidman Way, Wallanthery, where they attempted to stop a Mitsubishi Triton that was allegedly speeding at about 7:30 pm on 26 August.

Police initiated a pursuit when the vehicle allegedly failed to stop, but it was terminated shortly afterwards due to safety concerns.

Following inquiries, police attended a property on O’Briens Road and found Dart and two others hiding on a property just after 8 pm.

Officers conducted a breath test on Dart, which police say returned a positive result, and he was later arrested and taken to Hillston Police Station for secondary testing.

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During the five-day operation, police conducted 28 random breath tests, vehicle and person searches, and saleyard, firearm, fishing licence and kangaroo harvest inspections, with several infringement notices issued.

Investigators also liaised with landholders in the area to provide advice on target hardening measures and the importance of reporting crime early to the police.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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