James Rafton, of Brooklet, is on bail over five charges of receiving stolen earthmoving equipment.
James Rafton, of Brooklet, is on bail over five charges of receiving stolen earthmoving equipment.

Man, 67, bailed over equip haul

HE MIGHT be pushing 70, but it took less than an hour for Brooklet man James Rafton to accumulate more than $100,000 worth of stolen earthmoving and gardening equipment early this month, police claim.

Rafton, 67, is expected to enter pleas on five charges of receiving stolen property when he next appears at Byron Bay Local Court on February 5.

Police accuse Rafton of knowingly receiving three stolen ‘Bobcat’-style skid steer loaders – a New Holland, a Toyota Huski and a Caterpillar – as well as a ‘Zipper’ ride-on lawnmower and a box trailer.

Police allege that Rafton tried to offload the trailer immediately after receiving it.

The stolen steer loaders, mower and trailer had each come from different owners.

Three of the items – the mower and two of the loaders – were allegedly stolen from companies and two had been stolen from individuals.

Rafton, who is being represented by Byron Bay-based solicitor John Weller, is on bail while his case works.

Under his bail conditions, Rafton has posted a $5000 surety and must report to Byron Bay police once a week.



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