Burglar Entering House Through Window
Burglar Entering House Through Window

‘Sophisticated’: Man sentenced for planned, ATM theft

THE getaway driver in the "sophisticated and professional" break in and theft of an ATM from a remote Cape York business has been released on parole.

Tanu Albert Tamwoy, 23, a traditional owner at Umagico near Bamaga, drove the vehicle which three others allegedly broke into the community's general store in on February 26, stealing the entire ATM which was filled with about $14,000 cash, along with other items.

The Cairns Magistrates Court heard the group planned the break-in and cut the power to the building, before allegedly forcing entry through the toilet window and disabling the CCTV camera.

Tamu pleaded guilty to enter premises and commit indictable offence, stealing property of value exceeding $5000 and 14 breaches bail.

Along with the cash they allegedly stole items with a total value of more than $28,000.

Magistrate Sandra Pearson said the theft would have had a huge back on the remote community as it would have been the only ATM in town.

Umagico is about 5km from Bamaga near the tip of Cape York.

"When that was destroyed and stolen, no one in the community could access their money," she said.

"We are dealing with a remote community.

"There is that significant inconvenience and cost."

Police prosecutor Nathaniel Gillis said Tamwoy received a $1500 "cut" from the criminal proceeds.

He said the law stipulated he be deemed equally culpable to the other three alleged offenders even though he was the driver.

Defence solicitor Peter Honey concurred.

"They all chatted about it and decided to break in," he said.

"I guess any of them could have broken in your honour."

But he said his client was remorseful, penning a letter of apology and offering to pay back whatever restitution was ordered.

"He appreciates a lot of money was taken and a lot of damage done," he said.

He told the court Tamwoy had a heavily pregnant partner, responsibilities as a traditional owner and had taken "significant steps" to realise what he had done wrong and apologise.

He said when released from custody Tamwoy intended to get a job and "get on with his life".

Magistrate Pearson sentenced him to 12 months jail fully suspended and ordered him to pay $5000 compensation.

The court heard the other males allegedly involved included a teenager and two other men whose cases are still both before court.

Originally published as 'Sophisticated': Man sentenced for planned, hi-tech ATM theft

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