Wannabe robber repeatedly fails to break into safes, despite using angle grinder

Albert McKnight 18 August 2021

Jacob Williams-Savage of Kambah has been found guilty over a string of crimes. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A wannabee robber tried but failed to break into safes in a crime spree across Canberra, although he did eventually succeed at a Domino’s Pizza where he stole about $7500.

After a judge-alone trial, Justice David Mossop, who released his judgment on the ACT Supreme Court case on 11 August, found Jacob Williams-Savage guilty over the incidents. However, he cleared his co-accused of any wrongdoing.

He said the spree began on 5 April 2020 when Williams-Savage tried to open the door of the Quintessence Nail and Beauty salon in Page at about 3:00 am with a crowbar before using the tool to smash a glass door and driving away.

“He appears to have been disturbed by something and this led to him abandoning his attempts to [break into the store],” Justice Mossop said.

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At about 4:40 am later that morning, Williams-Savage forced his way into a Domino’s Pizza store in Florey and attempted to open a safe with a crowbar but failed.

On 8 April 2020, he returned to the pizza store at about 2:00 am, forced his way inside while carrying a crowbar and cordless angle grinder, and used the latter to take the door off the safe.

He grabbed a Domino’s hot bag, placed the contents of the safe inside it and left, making off with $7560 in cash.

Next, at about 5:30 am on 12 April 2020, Williams-Savage broke into a Domino’s Pizza store in Fyshwick. Again he tried to open the safe with a crowbar but failed.

He went out to a car and came back with an angle grinder, but Justice Mossop said despite “working on [the safe] vigorously” with both the angle grinder and a crowbar, he still couldn’t get it open.

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On 11 July, crown prosecutor Trent Hickey had told the court that police later found Williams-Savage had a receipt for angle grinding discs and a drill bit from Bunnings that he had bought on 11 April.

The co-accused was found not guilty of all charges, and while Williams-Savage denied the offences, he was found guilty of nine charges, including burglary, theft, damaging property and driving a motor vehicle without consent.

Williams-Savage, an unemployed Kambah man, will return to court at a later date.

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