Surfer catches thief searching through his car at The Pass

Surfers at The Pass, Byron Bay.
Surfers at The Pass, Byron Bay. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

THEFTS from surfers at carparks on the Northern Rivers is "well and truly" on the radar for police.

The Northern Star revealed on Monday a man had been caught, charged, and convicted with a string of thefts around the area after he was caught rummaging through a surfer's van.

Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen from the Tweed Byron local area command said the surfer had returned to his vehicle to change surfboards when he found his van open and a man searching through it.

The Queenslander then attempted to flee the scene with a pouch containing $855 cash; a digital camcorder and a portable DVD player. However he was detained by the surfer until police arrived.

The man was arrested and later charged and refused bail and appeared in Tweed Heads Court on Monday.

He was convicted of a string of thefts in the area including failing to pay for fuel in Newrybar and stealing a Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter donation tin from a store in Brunswick Heads along with the theft from the van.

He was sentenced to eight months in jail and ordered to pay compensation.

Det Inspector Cullen said beach car park theft was "well and truly" on the radar of police and was a focus of Tweed/Byron police after an increase in car thefts reported recently.

The Northern Star reported on this increase last month after a surfer came forward to say his wallet was stolen from his car at Tallows Beach.

"We are also targeting people we know are repeat offenders and if we know they are on bail conditions and we see them hanging around car parks, we will question them," Det Insp Cullen said.

Topics:  crime surfing

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