Meth addict’s staggering $500K jewellery smash and grab at Westfield
A Brisbane man and two co-offenders conducted a daring smash and grab raid on a Brisbane Westfield shopping centre which netted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewellery which has never been found.
Kuraby man Zacheri Peter Nicholas Photinos, 28, pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court on Tuesday to three counts of entering premises to commit an indictable offences and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
The court heard the offences occurred about 4.20am on February 9 last year, where the criminal trio targeted Westfield Carindale.
Using a stolen car, the trio drove to the shopping centre in a stolen car and parked in the underground carpark.
Using an axe, Photinos smashed a glass window to access the centre's door release button, the court heard.
Once inside, Photinos and one of his co-offenders then used axe to damage the roller door of an Angus & Coote jeweller, where they smashed glass display cabinets and plundered $360,000 worth of stock, including the damage caused to the store, which they loaded into a shopping trolley.
Then, joined by the second co-offender, the trio targeted a Prouds the Jewellers store, where one of the trio "headbutted" the roller door, damaging it before it was pried open.
Once inside, they further snatched $170,000 worth of jewellery, including the damage caused to the store, before escaping when a security guard, alerted by the alarms, made to confront them.
The cost price of the jewellery was about $130,000, while the damage totalled about $25,000 total.
The court heard Photinos was identified after police tracked down the stolen car, in which Photinos had connected his mobile phone via Bluetooth, leaving a record of his phone number.
Photinos had also left blood at the scene.
He was arrested on March 16, 2020, with police discovering him in possession of gloves and shoes used in the offending, although no jewellery, none of which was recovered.
Photinos also declined to identify his two co-offenders.
He has been remanded in pre-sentence custody since then, a total of about 14 months.
The offences were committed in breach of a 12-month probation order.
Defence counsel Damien Gates told the court his client's offending was fuelled by a methamphetamine addiction, which he picked up from co-workers while employed as a labourer.
He said his client, a former student at Holland Park and Rochedale state high schools, was formerly a talented athlete who excelled in football and boxing.
Judge Vicki Loury QC sentenced Photinos to four-and-a-half years' imprisonment.
He was granted immediate parole eligibility.
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Originally published as Meth addict's staggering $500K jewellery smash and grab at Westfield