23 June 2021

Man allegedly wheels away $70,000 in cash from University of Canberra Supermarket

| Albert McKnight
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University of Canberra Supermarket

Peter Michael Crawford has been charged with theft at the University of Canberra Supermarket last year. Photo: Google Maps.

A man who allegedly stole almost $75,000 in cash, cigarettes and whisky from a university supermarket then later fled to Victoria will remain behind bars after he was extradited to Canberra.

Court documents allege Peter Michael Crawford, now 38, and another man entered the University of Canberra’s supermarket at about 4:30 am on 15 September 2020.

They allegedly searched the store before leaving, taking cigarettes with them, and returned half an hour later in a Subaru Forester driven by a third man.

This time, Crawford allegedly stole a safe containing over $70,000 in cash from the supermarket’s office and wheeled it out to the car, while the other man took a case of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, and they drove away.

Police allege closed-circuit television footage captured the two men walking away from the supermarket and pulling a safe on wheels with a handle.

They also allege one of Crawford’s fingerprints was found on a door handle in the supermarket’s office.

ACT Policing said in the same month of the thefts, September 2020, Crawford had been found guilty of several unrelated offences and sentenced to four years’ jail.

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While he was referred to rehabilitation through a drug treatment order, police allege he absconded from the rehabilitation facility after one day and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

“He was subsequently arrested and directed back into the rehabilitation facility by the court. The man again absconded from the facility soon after,” police allege.

Earlier this year, Crawford was arrested in Victoria. He pleaded guilty to offences he committed in that state, was jailed and released from Victorian custody on Friday (18 June).

But Victoria Police arrested him on his release and he was extradited to Canberra on Monday (21 June).

He appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday to apply for bail.

Crawford burst into tears over the audio-visual link before Special Magistrate Jane Campbell had even arrived to hear the matter.

Magistrate Campbell said the total value of the property he allegedly stole from the supermarket was $74,800.

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His Legal Aid lawyer told the court her client was in Victoria because he thought his father was ill and his partner, who lives in Canberra, also had a serious medical condition.

She said if he was granted bail, he could live with his partner in Braddon.

Magistrate Campbell said the alleged “serious burglary offences” took place eight days after Crawford had been released from custody on the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order.

She refused bail and adjourned the case to 13 July. Crawford did not enter pleas to charges of aggravated robbery and theft.

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Capital Retro2:33 pm 24 Jun 21

It was announced in May 2015 that The University of Canberra will be allowed a supermarket, shops and commercial office space in campus under new planning rules released on Saturday for public consultation.

The university will be allowed to develop office space for businesses not associated with the university under the proposal, and up to 3300 homes, over and above student accommodation.

So, the business was operated by a third party but assuming students are the main customers and every young person uses cards not cash so, where did such a large stash of cash come from?

While I’m glad this bloke is locked up, why did the UC have over $70,000 in cash in a safe that could be just wheeled away? Are they mad?

Capital Retro8:57 pm 23 Jun 21

Probably the proceeds of cream.

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