The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on April 5, 1981 · Page 3
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia · Page 3

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 5, 1981
Page 3
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Ii i f iiiiiiiiifiiT'j.jjjiintiniii II i i i 0 S6r. '" "w 'h N j v . -,, ,y;f?. ,1 U J By KEVIN PERKINS ii(M 7 i ii'.'il 'ir ' Police Constable Gail Gow . . . keeping up the family tradition. RIGHT: The winning form of the then Gail Petith in the early 70s. iX Probationary Constable Gail Gow was on point duty when a .car, after circling the njblock a couple of climes, stopped beside "Book me, take me hii" pleaded the joker behind the wheel, holding his-:wrists -together hope- H ?That's always happen-v1 jhW'f raughed Gail, a for-; pf mer. beauty ; queen , who 'jf.j laStf ;year . followed her father,' brother, an uncle ;f ?i;aiid two- cousins into the -;;1 police force. "f-As Gail Petith, she ;fyiQin her first beauty con-teslt' :at 15. Other titles '.followed and in 1974 she capped them all by , becoming Miss Quest of Quists' and a runner-up , in the Miss World competition.' CA challenge' "But I've always want- ed "to join the police forde," said Gail who, nearly 6ft tall, is statu-'"Jesque in her blue uniform1,, sensible lace-up shoes and titian hair tucked tidily into a bun. -""Ever since I was a little girl police work has VSbeien talked round the stabler "d it always seemed so different, so much of a challenge," she said. Last year, at the- age of By JACQUELINE LEE . 24 and after winning thousands of dollars worth of prizes and trav-.,; elling round the world half a dozen times, Gail . finally got her chance toS keep up the family tradition. 1 ' After . her marriage broke up she put her name on the waiting list of applicants. . Her " father, "' Senior Superintendent Jim Pet-' ith, of Police 'Headquarters, was reluctant to see Gail in uniform. "He told 'me I could earn more money modelling, that I'd see a lot of things he wouldn't want me to see, that I was the . kind of person who liked having a social life and that I'd have to do -shift work," she said. . "In the end I signed up. without telling him." After a three-month training period at the Police Academy, she passed her exams with flying colours, graduating last September with 16 other women recruited on merit instead of under the old quota system. "My father was so proud the day I passed out," said Gail "I'm sure : the buttons on his chest were bursting open." Now, as a rookie , policewoman stationed at Maroubra, Gail shares LEWES the same duties as her male colleagues. That includes everything from directing traffic to high-speed' chases and, as happened one night, helping to break up a drunken fight. "About 25 men were brawling on the pavement, swinging punches ' and some with broken bottles," she said. "Of course it was terrifying. I'm sure it always is. Ms The Bank of NSW dumped personal files and records on the public rubbish dump when it closed its branch in the small town of Binalong last Tuesday. The .residents, angry at the closure of the town's only bank are now hopping mad at the dumping of the records on the local tip. Restaurateur Tom Duffy found the files some of which went back to when the bank opened in 1911 on the tip when - he dumped a load of rubbish. A multi-million dollar racket involving the importation of stolen luxury cars from England has been uncovered in Sydney. An international gang 6t thieves has been plucking Rolls-Royces, . Mercedes and other . luxury models from . the streets of London and shipping them to Australia. . In a skilful operation the .thieves have" been using forged registration papers in England to get . the stole"n cars through: Australian Customs. ; They " have also been changing engine and chassis numbers' and riveting new- identification ' plates to the cars.' - When the stolen vehicles are unloaded from containers or the . open decks of ships, all the importation paper- . work matches perfectly with documentation in England. " The racket has been operating since 1975 and hundreds , of cars worth several million dollars . have been shipped out to Australia in this way. , In an investigation now only in its infancy, detec- : tives from the CIB Motor Squad have already impounded nine imported "I thought, oh dear, my nose is going to be splattered from one end of my face to the other." All the same, after calling for assistance she waded in, heart thumping, to help her "buddy." "Some of them were swinging punches at me, but I'm a fast ducker," she said with a smile. Mid-year Gail will sit for her final exams, and later she would like to do plainclothes work. A Mercedes sports . a popular part of" the multi-rnillion dollar stolen car rackets cars suspected of having been stolen in England. These cars alone are valued here at $500,000. They include one Rolls-Royce, : a Mercedes sports, a Ferrari and Jaguars. , ? - Some of the cars stolen in" the ; racket sell for more than $100,000 in Australia. ' They are touched up in motor repair yards, with rust cut out and paintwork restored and sold at top market value. The only real cost to the thieves is the payment of ' import duty, which : begins at 92 per cent and is reduced by depreciation on a sliding scale : according to the year model. But even in this respect the thieves have been giv-. ing themselves an advan-: tage they write their own "sales" . receipts in England and greatly reduce the market value of the cars to minimise import duty. Tumbling prices of big cars in Britain, due to the ; high cost of petrol, have helped cloak the gang's activities. One example of this is a stolen luxury late-model Mercedes sports. Allegedly bought in Britain for $17,000 it was touched up in Sydney and sold here for almost $50,000. . Scotland Yard is collaborating on the racket with Sydney Motor Squad detectives. Two detectives from the Yard are expected to ; fly to Australia soon to extend their inquiries. Sydney inquiries are being led by Detective Earl Boyter ( and Detecr tive Dave Higgins. of the CIB. At. least 20 or 30 people form the English gang. An Australian, well-known to police in Sydney, is said to be highly placed in the operation. Although the racket has been suspected by, police in London for some time, the first real Mr Duffy said the townspeople were aghast. The Bank of NSW closed its branch because it said the . building required extensive renovations and the amount of business did not warrant the cost involved. Bank officials were unavailable for comment yesterday. Mr Duffy said: "Some of the records contain very private information. "It appears to be a final gesture of contempt for, the people of Binalong." . , .,. . . ' clue,a5"'unearttie'1n'''i'"ers- are' suspected' of fi-Sydney .: a few months ' nancing a number of ago. yi-'- , , these deals on. the? aid This occurred when a from their normal opera-Sydney' man went to pick r tions. up - an imported -luxury One man, familiar with car from England which purported - to be a 1975' I-- model. , ' . Customs officials became suspicious of- the documents presented and, .believing the car to be a 1976 model, called in the Motor Squad. The year model is sig- nificant because no import licence is needed for any car more than five years old, although . duty still applies. -. , . Detectives ? soon got S wind of the racket and, after conferring : with Scotland Yard, the ramifications of the gang's activities began. to emerge. :': ,;,....., , Motor. Squad police say they already know of about 30 cases in which stolen cars have been- imported, are investigating another 20 cases and believe they will eventually be able to track down hundreds of stolon vehicles. .--':-'::;i:-v-: Police say the counter- TAX second-hand Estate Jewellery for safe investment WELL BELOW CURRENT MARKET VALUES Gents yellow gold signet ring set with approximately 1.95 carat brilliant cut diamond. Replacement Value $12,500. Our Price $9,250. Yellow and white gold bracelet. Traditional diamond cluster centre with pierced diamond set links. 41 diamonds in all Replacement Value $4,200. Our Price $3,150. . Ladies 18 carat yellow gold solitaire diamond ring approximately 1 carat, F colour. Replacement Value $7,000. Our Price $4,600. See ourcollection of irreplaceable Art Deco diamond set brooches and watches (with new watch guarantee), on display now. Just 3 Items specially selected horn our extensive Investment jewellery collection available as at 5 4.81 For personal inspection ask for John Walsh. Richard Wolf or Mai Moorhouse. Bruce s DIAMOND JEWELLERS FOR OVER 75 YEARS 106 KING STREET, CITY. 232 3522 ien cngnsn regisrrauon papers being used are the work of a master forger. . In many cases , th names of individuals and companies in which tha J cars are imported f arc ' false, or spelling has been varied slightly. ' , Most of the cars are In good V' condition but in some, cases . rust caused by . salt used on Enclish roads to melt 'snow' is covered over rdSdeal. the racket, told The Sun- Herald of a Sydney' businessman who went to London and literally picked out two cart which took his fancy parked in the street. Choice He paid the thief - for his efforts and two stolen Jaguars were later shipped out- to him through the international gang. The gang's activities first began with MGB sports cars which -wera popular with Australians but hard to get. . . Then they graduated to more . expensive .cars, including Volvos, Mercedes, Jaguars, Ferraria and Rolls-Royces. Mr J. Chesworth, senior assistant - Collector of Customs in Sydney, said the department was investigating at least two cases in which it was suspected . false import papers had been used. FREE and . BW6073 ; WALSH THE SUN-HERALD; APRIL 5, 1981 5

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