A 40-year-old man accused of stealing almost $160,000 worth of classic cars and caravans from a Maddingley property has been released on bail, despite police concerns he is an unacceptable risk.
Police allege Dean Peter Gilson attended the property, near Bacchus Marsh, in the early hours of June 3 to steal a $70,000 Holden Commodore sedan , $70,000 Jayco caravan, $10,000 Holden Torana and $8400 Millard caravan.
The panel beater is accused of storing the vehicles, car parts and items from the caravans in shipping containers at a Lara property.
The vehicles, which belonged to a number of victims, were stored at the Maddingley property in a padlocked shed before they went missing.
Police informant Detective Senior Constable Josh Coy told the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Friday police opposed Gilson’s application for bail.
He said he was concerned Gilson, of Maddingley, was at risk of intefering with police witnesses, committing further offences while on bail and failing to answer bail.
The court was told there was no forensic evidence linking Gilson to the burglaries, but there was CCTV footage of the vehicles being removed on a trailer.
Detective Senior Constable Coy said police relied on a statement made by the owner of the Lara property. He said Gilson asked this man if he could store the vehicles at his property.
It is alleged Gilson offered a co-accused $100 to remove vehicle items from the Maddingley address.
Gilson was arrested and interviewed on July 23 where he allegedly told police he was familiar with the Maddingley property and had been at the Lara property a number of times, the court was told.
But he denied he removed the vehicles from the Maddingley storage shed.
The court was told two caravans worth more than $80,000 had not yet been located.
Defence barrister Samantha Seoud said her client had two prior offences for failing to answer bail but this stretched back 10 years ago.
She said Gilson owned a unit in Maddingley, there was nothing linking him to the stolen property and he was employed.
Ms Seoud said police concerns about Gilson could all be alleviated with bail conditions.
Magistrate Clive Alsop said Gilson had eight pages of prior convictions and his bail offences were not extensive.
He granted Gilson bail with the conditions he report to the Melton Police Station daily, live at a static address and not contact witnesses of the prosecution.
He will return to court for a committal mention on October 18.
Gilson has been charged with burglary offences.