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Australia Accused bushfire looters, Leon Elton and Kylie Pobjie, refused bail over Batemans Bay break-in

03:50  12 january  2020
03:50  12 january  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Kylie Pobjie and Leon Elton allegedly ransacked a bushfire -damaged store. The pair were arrested on Friday accused of looting the Batemans Bay store. Police seized hundreds of dollars of electrical equipment from two homes. Pobjie and Elton were denied bail and will appear again in court on

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a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Kylie Pobjie's solicitor told the court she had called police to confess to her part in the crime. (Facebook)© Provided by ABC NEWS Kylie Pobjie's solicitor told the court she had called police to confess to her part in the crime. (Facebook)

A man and a woman have been refused bail in court after being charged with looting on the fire-ravaged New South Wales South Coast to pay for drugs.

Police arrested 38-year-old plumber Leon Elton and part-time cleaner Kylie Pobjie, 31, after allegedly seizing a number of electrical items during a search of a home at Narooma on Friday.

The pair are accused of stealing the items from a Beta Electrical store at Batemans Bay, which they allegedly broke into twice on Wednesday night.

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They appeared in Wollongong Local Court on Saturday via video link from Batemans Bay.

According to the police facts tendered to the court, the pair drove some 70 kilometres from Narooma to Batemans Bay and parked outside a cemetery across the road from the business before entering the premises and taking several electrical items.

Police prosecutor, Sergeant Tanya Pavlin, alleged the pair then drove off and rummaged through the items before returning to loot the store for a second time.

It is alleged Ms Pobjie and Mr Elton exchanged the items for drugs and as payment for use of the vehicle.

Monopoly money, jail time in criminal history

The solicitor representing the pair, Adam Sumbak, urged the court to exercise leniency.

He said Ms Pobjie had phoned the police and admitted to the alleged crime and would therefore be unlikely to breach her bail conditions.

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Mr Sumbak said Mr Elton's criminal history was limited, with only one prior dishonesty charge laid after he attempted to use Monopoly money — "as a joke" — to pay for a drink at a bar.

Mr Sumbak said a $1,000 bail surety had also been offered by Mr Elton's parents, to assist his application for release.

In refusing bail, registrar Pete Richie said the alleged offence caused "significant risk of harm to the community."

He said Ms Pobjie had a "very extensive prior criminal history" having spent "several periods in custody in 2017 for drug offences."

Ms Pobjie sobbed and placed her head in her hands during her court appearance, while Mr Elton sat silently for the duration of the proceedings.

The pair are due to face court again at Batemans Bay on Monday.

NSW South Coast towns 'open for business' .
Batemans Bay business owners want all tourists to know their town is back and 'open for business' now the area has been declared as safe from devastating bushfire threats. Tourists have started to return to some bushfire-ravaged towns on the New South Wales South Coast however Batemans Bay locals are asking for more holiday goers to add an economic boost to the local economy. Some business owners in regions cut off during the bushfire crisis reported sale losses of up to 70 per cent. Australians have been urged to buy from bushfire-ravaged communities to help them get back on their feet following the crisis.

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