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Pistols on Underworld Black Market

West Australian (Perth)

22 October 2009

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Semi-automatic handguns such as the 12 stolen during a sophisticated break-in at a Morley security company on Tuesday morning were being shopped around Perth's underworld black market within hours of the theft.

The West Australian has spoken to an underworld associate who says he received a telephone call shortly after 9.30am on Tuesday from a known criminal. The man was offering Glock handguns for about $3500 each with ammunition.

The newspaper can also reveal that a suspect in the theft had worked for the security company, West-Sure Group, and another security firm targeted six months ago in a similar heist that netted $100,000 cash. The suspect has had various roles in WA's security industry for more than seven years.

In both break-ins the alarm systems and surveillance equipment were immobilised after a hole had been cut into the roofs of the office buildings. The thief or thieves used abseiling equipment, a rope ladder and an angle grinder in the first break-in. They also tried unsuccessfully to steal weapons from the office armoury. Together with $100,000 in notes, bags of coins were hauled to the roof of the southern suburbs security firm, but were later abandoned. A top-quality piece of abseiling hardware was also found at the scene.

The West Australian understands detectives investigating the latest theft have shown an interest in the former employee of both the companies.

"He would know the inside layout and operations of both companies," a security industry source said.

"The first job no one really wanted to know about because it was just money, but with the guns everyone is paying attention."

Police said Tuesday's theft of 11 Glocks and one magnum handgun occurred sometime between 1.30am and 3.10am, but they were not notified of the crime until after 4am.

The only surveillance vision recovered shows a car's headlights arriving and leaving.

One source with underworld connections believes he was offered one of the guns later that morning.

"I was asked if I was interested in a piece — a 9mm Glock — which I wasn't," the underworld source told The West Australian.

"The bloke on the phone said they had a few of them. He asked if I knew who might want to buy one."

West-Sure uses guns during armed escorts, but police were unhappy about how easy it was for the thieves to disable the company's alarm systems.

ID: N180

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