POLICE investigations into stock theft have led to the seizure of a number of unregistered firearms in the Riverina as part of an operation dating back to 2019.
Officers attached to the Riverina Police District commenced an investigation into the theft of livestock in the Tumbarumba area in 2019, after "frequent reports" were made by members of the community.
Riverina, Murray River, and Monaro Rural Crime Prevention Teams inspected three properties in the area just after 8am on Wednesday with the help of the RSPCA and Local Land Services.
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During the searches at two locations along Courabyra Road, Tumbarumba, and another on Yenches Road, Lankeys Creek, police seized seven firearms allegedly belonging to a 48-year-old man who managed the properties.
Police alleged the firearms weren't being stored safely, with one found loaded inside a safe with the key inserted. The 48-year-old's firearms licence was suspended.
Riverina Police District Detective Inspector Adrian Telfer said the allegations were "fairly serious", with an inspection at another property finding that firearms and ammunition allegedly belonging to an 86-year-old man also did not meet safe storage standards.
Police seized nine firearms in total - two of which were unregistered - and suspended his firearms licence.
Detective Inspector Telfer said firearms were not the only offences recorded, with the management of cattle and sheep mustered on the three properties allegedly not recorded correctly.
"Stock theft obviously has a significant financial burden on property owners, but it is difficult to investigate given the incidents happening in quite remote areas," he said.
"While no charges have been laid at this stage, we are fairly optimistic there will be charges to come in relation to this."
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