20 January 2022

Bunnings bandit caught selling stolen copper for scrap metal

| Albert McKnight
Kiran James Eichmann

Kiran James Eichmann, 32, has been sentenced for theft-related charges. Photo: Facebook.

What started with stealing copper from Bunnings and taking it to a scrap metal yard has ended with a minor thief pleading guilty and being told to repay the cost of the items he nicked.

Court documents say Kiran James Eichmann, now 32, was captured on closed-circuit television (CCTV) going into the Bunnings Warehouse in Greenway with two co-accused, a man and a woman, around midday on 30 July 2021 where they picked up six copper coils.

He and the man left through a fire door at the back without paying and were followed by staff trying to stop them. They jumped into a car parked in the loading zone, dropping one of the coils before driving away.

The five 18-metre coils cost about $700.

Eichmann struck again a few days later. He was captured on CCTV in the afternoon of 2 August 2021 at Bunnings Fyshwick, arriving in a car with three others.

The car reversed to the doors at the end of the building and 10 rolls of copper pipe, valued at about $1300, were stolen by loading it into the car.

About 15 minutes later, Eichmann and two others were filmed unwrapping several brand new-looking copper rolls at a scrap metal yard in Fyshwick.

READ ALSO Patron chased and punched after trying to return membership card at Gungahlin Raiders Club

Also, on 6 August 2021, Eichmann stole a $599 Logitech Steering Wheel, which is a PlayStation gaming accessory, from JB Hi-Fi at Westfield Woden.

After he was arrested, police found messages on his mobile phone sent on 8 August where he was speaking to someone who told him, “I’ll be going back to jail soon tbh bro”.

“Same my bra, doing snatch and runs and s-t bahaha jb hfi Bunnings,” Eichman replied.

Police believe this message relates to the thefts from Bunnings and JB Hi-Fi.

Eichmann pleaded guilty to charges that included minor theft and obtaining property by deception and was sentenced in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (18 January).

“People who go to work there [Bunnings] just want to work there, they don’t want to be bothered by people like you stealing from their employer,” Magistrate Beth Campbell told him.

READ ALSO Brass thief admits he stole the metal from park benches

She said his background was different to many others that appeared before the courts, as he came from a loving and caring background and was better educated than most.

Whatever had “derailed” his life wasn’t due to his childhood, she said.

Eichmann was sentenced to nine months’ jail, backdated to take into account time already spent in custody and suspended from later in January 2022 for him to complete a 12-month good behaviour order.

Repatriation orders were also made and he must repay about $2100 to Bunnings and $599 to JB Hi-Fi.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.