Warwick teenager charged for gemstone burglary
POLICE have arrested and charged a 17-year-old boy in relation to a Warwick burglary from which $50,000 worth of goods were reported stolen.
Warwick Criminal Investigation Branch detective Sergeant Darren Tamblyn said the Warwick teen was found with stolen property when stopped by police on Percy St.
"He was found with some stones and coins on him in the early hours of Wednesday morning,” Sgt Tamblyn said.
"We executed a search warrant at his house and found a substantial quantity of the missing antique coins and gemstones.”
More than 100 gems were among the sizeable loot stolen from Dan and Shirley Pillar's Warwick home more than two months ago.
Sgt Tamblyn said the Pillars were happy to hear some of the gems had been located.
"The owners are ecstatic,” he said.
Mr Pillar said it has been a hard few months since the burglary.
"I thought they had gone forever,” Mr Pillar said.
"I'm very happy about (their return), it's a big boost.
"I'm lucky to get them back.”
Mr Pillar said he had spent five decades collecting the gems that he excavated, cut and polished himself.
"When you dig one up you can't help but feel that joy of finding something that you can turn into something brilliant,” he said.
"It gets in the blood.”
The 85-year-old said it was bittersweet when he was called to the station on Wednesday evening to identify the stones.
"I saw straight away two of the boxes were mine,” he said.
"I think only half of them were found.
"I'm happy to get back what I've got.”
During the raid, police also located a 2018 Toyota Hilux dual cab that was stolen during an armed robbery on January 25 in Toowoomba.
"The 17-year-old was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of receiving, one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and one count of stealing,” Sgt Tamblyn said.
Police are investigating whether there are links to three reported break-ins between Sunday, January 27 and Monday, January 28, around Dragon, Locke and Pratten streets.
"We are waiting on some forensic evidence,” Sgt Tamblyn said.