12 August 2021

Bunnings copper caper sees metal allegedly stolen and sold as scrap

| Albert McKnight
Start the conversation

Bunnings Warehouse in Greenway was the scene of one alleged copper theft. Photo: Google Maps.

Police have nabbed a duo accused of stealing copper from Bunnings then selling it to a scrap metal yard.

Kiran James Eichmann and Tania Woods have been arrested over their alleged scheme, which apparently only made a measly profit.

According to court documents from Eichmann’s case, close-circuit television (CCTV) shows the two entering Bunnings Warehouse in Greenway along with another man at about 12:40 pm on 30 July 2021. They allegedly picked up six copper coils. Ms Woods then left through the front entrance.

The two men allegedly left through a back fire exit without trying to pay for the copper coils, followed by staff who tried to stop them from getting away.

Police allege the men ran to a car that had been reported stolen, dropping one coil on the road as they did so. They then drove away.

READ ALSO Man allegedly left COVID-19 hotspot for Canberra, caught with cocaine

The five 18-metre coils, and a black tap they also allegedly stole, cost $793.

The duo is alleged to have struck again a few days later. After seeing more CCTV footage, police allege Eichmann and Ms Woods went to Bunnings Fyshwick at about 3:30 pm on 2 August along with two others.

They allegedly stole 10 rolls of 18-metre copper pipe, worth $1333, by loading it into a car and driving away.

About 15 minutes later, Eichmann was allegedly filmed unwrapping plastic from several brand new-looking copper rolls at Jack Martin Scrap Metals in Fyshwick.

A manager from the scrap metal yard later told police he allegedly paid $616 to Ms Woods, who was with two men, for copper rolls on 2 August.

Eichmann, 31, applied for bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (10 August). His Legal Aid lawyer Georgia Le Couteur said he was an apprentice and most of his family lived in Queensland.

READ ALSO Possible ‘sovereign citizen’ allegedly refused to follow COVID-19 rules

The prosecutor, Ms Sheridan, opposed bail and said police suspected he allegedly committed the offences to fund a drug habit.

However, Ms Le Couteur said there was no evidence he was funding such a habit.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said Eichmann was already on parole for an aggravated robbery charge and had a “not insubstantial” criminal history.

She said the prosecution had a very strong case, as Eichmann had allegedly been spotted on CCTV footage.

She refused bail and adjourned the matter to 31 August for a plea. He has been charged with theft and obtaining property via deception.

Ms Woods applied for bail in the Magistrates Court on Monday but was also denied.

READ ALSO Repulsive pool pooper sorry for wearing ‘skimpy bathers’ in public

Her Legal Aid lawyer, Georgina Meikle, said she was a single mother to six children who lived in Chisholm and worked part-time as a hairdresser at her mother’s house.

She added her client was diabetic and epileptic.

Magistrate Walker adjourned Ms Woods’ case to 19 August for a plea and remanded her in custody until then.

She has also been charged with theft and obtaining property by deception.

Start the conversation

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.