AN ALLEGED thief and drug dealer arrested as part of a police raid in Canadian on Tuesday had been on the run from police for almost two years.
Grant Smith, of Spencer Street, Canadian, was arrested as part of a police blitz on Tuesday morning, along with two other co-accused.
Smith, 36, was denied bail in the Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, where it was deemed he was too great a risk to the community.
The court heard Smith, who is facing a total of 56 charges, had previously skipped bail in Melbourne and had been on the run since early 2012.
There were no official records of him living in Ballarat and police were unaware of his location until the raid on Tuesday.
Police raided the house after identifying a car in the front yard, which had been stolen from the Tullamarine Airport last year.
Upon raiding the house, police found more than $400,000 in stolen vehicles in the backyard, including a number of cars, motorcycles, a new caravan and a tow truck.
Also found was 18 grams of ice, 250mm of the drug ‘GHB’, 13 cannabis plants and a loaded sawn-off shotgun.
Giving evidence to the court, Senior Constable Phil Messer of the Divisional Response Unit said Smith had previously been evading police and posed an unacceptable risk to again not answer bail.
“I see these as extremely serious offences,” he said.
“In one example, the stolen caravan had been purchased by the owner just before Christmas for his four children. “That’s a big impact not just on the children, but for the family that missed out on a Christmas holiday.”
Appealing for bail, defence lawyer David Tamanika said his client had no prior offences for drugs or violence.
He also argued police now knew where Smith lived and could monitor his movements.
But, Magistrate Cynthia Toose said Smith was an unacceptable risk to the community.
“You’re also at risk of failing to appear and answering bail,” Ms Toose said.
Smith will appear in court again on February 13.
The 20-year-old female co-accused was previously bailed by police while the other male co-accused will apply for bail tomorrow.