Man in court over possession of stolen RFS, ambulance gear
A KOONORIGAN man accused of possessing stolen Rural Fire Service and ambulance equipment has been released on bail.
Richmond Police District officers will allege that at 10.15am on Tuesday, Rural Crime investigators attended a Cox Rd, Koonorigan address where they arrested Andrew Geoffrey Stevenson, 36, for breaching previous bail conditions.
Police then executed a search warrant on the property, where they allegedly located NSW Rural Fire Service uniforms, patches, epaulettes and documentation, NSW Ambulance medic kits, helmets, radios, vehicle registration plates and accessories.
It will be alleged Mr Stevenson is not a member of the RFS or NSW Ambulance Service.
Police also located documentation related to fraudulent Roads and Maritime Services transactions.
He was charged with dishonestly obtaining property by deception, goods in personal custody suspected being stolen and attempting to register or renew registration by false statement and bail refused overnight.
A large amount of seized property and documents is yet to be analysed and further charges may be laid.
Mr Stevenson appeared before Lismore Local Court yesterday, where he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The court heard the property in question came into Mr Stevenson's personal custody after a friend of his, who works for NSW Ambulance, gifted the items to him.
Mr Stevenson's barrister, Megan Cusack, told the court her client, who is allegedly a member of a historic car club and collects vintage cars, had previously attempted to register the two fire brigade vehicles in question with the RMS but his application was denied due to paperwork issues.
When applying for bail, Ms Cusack said her client deserved the opportunity on bail to access key documents and contact relevant witnesses, including his friend from NSW Ambulance, to verify he has done everything above board.
"He hasn't been shown to be impersonating an ambulance officer, there was no equipment in his car that he is using, it was found in an old shipping container (on the property)," Ms Cusack said.
"He collects fire trucks, he has a number of them that are registered.
"He attempted to register these (vehicles) but (they) were unable to be registered by RMS.
"He needs to be out on bail to receive documents and emails and assistance from his friend who is the ambulance officer."
Ms Cusack said her client was only using the ambulance bags for his own personal use to store items.
"We're talking bags, we're not talking about fire hoses or respirators," she said.
"We're talking about containers, ambulance bags and a vest.
"What's in those bags is his property; he's filled up with the ambulance kits with his own prescription, bandages, and Panadol. It's his own first aid kit."
But the police prosecutor told the court it would be unlikely a NSW Ambulance officer would just hand over old equipment to anyone.
Magistrate Jeff Linden said he was "concerned" about the property found at the premises but granted bail.
He ordered a brief of evidence be delivered by December 16, and the matter is listed to return to Lismore Local Court on January 6 for mention in order to fix a hearing date.