The Centralian advocate Tue 9 Jun 2009
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
v. 63 no. 5
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, June 9, 2009 3 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 9 -J U N -2 0 0 9 P A G E : 3 C O L O R : C M Y K 754905/09 2009 FINKE DESERT RACE A job well done ... race officials at Rodinga checkpoint, front, from left: Peter Ledwoch, Ann Dickinson, Pirrenee Lewis, Valene Dutch, Rachel Bigg. Back: Steve Douglas, Chris Allan and Mark Carter. Picture: JUSTIN BRIERTY Bike tracks lead cops to thieves Jonathon Howard Checking out the buggies at the Finke finish. Spectators watch the bikes come in. TYRE tracks left by a Finke competitors motorbike stolen from the Airport Motel on Gap Road helped police track down and arrest seven thieves. Jabiru rider Matthew Large had trained for more than nine months and almost lost his chance to race when his 2005 Honda CRF450 was stolen from his trailer. The thieves had gone on a smash and grab, targeting seven cars parked at the motel from about 1am until 4am on Sunday. Rocks were used to smash a side window on each of the cars and personal belongings including a laptop, Navman, Ipod, clothing and Larges bike were stolen. Detective Sergeant Jason Guy and Senior Constable Mark Ashton were first on the scene and found nearby motorbike tracks which led them 20 metres to a home on Gap Road. Six males aged 15-18 were found inside the home and were arrested. Sgt Guy said all the stolen items were recovered except for a laptop which remains missing. He said: The juveniles had been unable to start the motorbike and had wheeled it to a nearby house. The tyre tracks led us all the way to the back of a shed where the motorbike was hidden. In an attempt to start the motorbike, the youths pulled wires apart and jammed things, including a knife, into the ignition. Luckily Large was able to piece his motorbike back together and took part in the Finke Desert Race. Damage to the vehicles was expected to exceed $3000 and many visitors were forced to delay trips out of Alice Springs until repairs were completed. Airport Motel manager Tish Asling said: All guests affected by this senseless attack have been offered free accommodation until their cars are repaired. The police were really good. They responded straight away and tracked the thieves down. Some of the visitors had travelled more than 2000km from Queensland to watch the Finke. The juveniles and one adult were expected to face charges of criminal damage, stealing and trespassing. One juvenile first offender would be considered for youth diversion. Police praise the fans FIVE drink drivers were netted as nearly 1100 drivers were breathalysed at the Finke Desert Race over the weekend. Police have praised drivers, campers and spectators who were on their best behaviour during Australias biggest off-road racing event. More than 20 police officers patrolled the race area from Alice Springs to Deep Well and Finke using 4WDs, patrol cars, helicopters and motorcycles. Senior Sergeant Peter Dash said 1097 drivers were breathalysed from Friday night until Monday afternoon. The first man charged blew 0.132 at Finke on Sunday. The second man, aged 16, was driving on a South Australian learners permit and blew 0.06 yesterday. Another two men were nabbed late yesterday for drink driving near Deep Well after recording alcohol/ blood levels of 0.086 and 0.081. The last man caught, also near Deep Well yesterday, had a blood alcohol level of 0.056. Speed checks trapped one man travelling at 145km/h on the south Stuart Highway. Police also issued 24 tickets for uninsured and unregistered vehicles or for failing to wear seatbelts. Sgt Dash said: Police were very impressed with drivers and spectators at this years race.
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