Wilson was jailed for crimes committed in 2002, 2003 and 2019 in the Gympie region. Picture: File photo
Wilson was jailed for crimes committed in 2002, 2003 and 2019 in the Gympie region. Picture: File photo

Gympie thief robbed elderly, homes, businesses for 17 years

A SERIAL burglar who targeted bowls clubs, businesses and homes across the Gympie region over the past 20 years has been jailed.

Craig Anthony Wilson, 44, was convicted of offences dating back to 2002-2003, and several recent offences from 2019.

Between March and April 2002 Wilson broke into and stole cash from the Tin Can Bay and Kandanga Bowls Clubs, and the Rainbow Beach Sports Recreation and Memorial Club, the court heard.

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During this time he also broke into Cooloola Auto and Marine where he stole fishing reels and equipment, and a Kandanga fruit farm where he stole several 200l drums of diesel, jerry cans and power tools.

The Gympie Magistrates Court heard this week that on March 31, 2002, Wilson stole a car before committing one of the break-ins at Kandanga Bowls Club.

From April 2002 to May 2003, he continued committing offences in the region, including driving a stolen car, driving without a licence, driving while disqualified, and trespassing.

After 2003, he spent time in NSW, where he “regularly returned before the court” and was given various jail sentences.

Upon returning to Queensland in 2019, Wilson “escalated” his crimes, targeting homes and elderly residents in the Gympie region.

Wilson was charged with several offences from April to September, 2019, including breaking into houses in Gympie and stealing jewellery, an iPad, a handbag, mobile phone, keys and other property from several different people.

Wilson was charged with fraud twice, for using stolen bank cards, and possessing a pipe used in connection with smoking a dangerous drug.

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Wilson was identified as the offender due to fingerprints left at some crime scenes, and by having stolen items found by police at his house, the court heard.

Wilson was born and grew up in Sydney, where he had a “bad upbringing” and left school after Year 8.

His lawyer said Wilson expressed regret for getting into drugs, and had limited contact with his family; he has an 18-year-old daughter who he has not seen since she was five.

In 1996, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and has been on disability support pension since 2002.

Last week, Judge Gary Long sentenced Wilson to several jail terms to be served concurrently with a head sentence of four years, three months, to be suspended for five years after he serves 27 months.

Wilson’s 313 days in pre-sentence custody at the Maryborough Correctional Centre were considered time spent.

Wilson was also disqualified from driving for two years.

Upon his release Wilson will be extradited to NSW on other charges.