Broome Court hears details of burglary at a pearl farm owned by the Fremantle Docker family

A Broome court has heard details of a brazen burglary by a group of children at an iconic pearl farm that resulted in the theft of more than $70,000 worth of jewellery.

An 18-year-old man appeared in Broome Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with the burglary at Willie Creek Pearl Farm along with four other minors who were co-accused in June.

The farm, owned by the family of Fremantle Dockers midfielder Bailey Banfield, is located at the end of an unmade road about 40 kilometers from Broome town centre.

The court heard the man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his alleged underage co-offenders, broke into a local caravan park in the early hours of June 11 and stole the keys of a Toyota double cab utility.

About an hour later, it is alleged that the group drove to the pearl farm in the stolen car and covered their faces with clothes to hide their identity.

The prosecution said the group then used tools to open security shutters and break down the front door before ransacking the premises and stealing $1,000 in cash.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm is one of the premier pearl farms in the Kimberley region of WA.(Rural ABC: Courtney Fowler)

They then allegedly entered the showroom and smashed glass panels containing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and stole an estimated $73,620 worth before fleeing.

The farm keeper alerted the police the following morning and officers arrested the 18-year-old a day later and charged him with aggravated burglary and committing, stealing and stealing a motor vehicle.

He was also caught with drug paraphernalia when he was arrested, but police say much of what was stolen in the burglary was missing.

Police said they had CCTV footage of the group at the farm, and while their faces were covered in the vision, investigators said they had cellphone footage that appeared to show them wearing the same face coverings more late the night of the burglary.

The forensic unit also discovered DNA at the scene, police said.

The 18-year-old pleaded guilty to all charges.

Broome Courthouse
The man faced a court in Broome on Monday.(ABC Kimberley: Tom Forrest)

At Monday’s court hearing, he asked for bail and cited his need to carry out sad business after the recent death of his great-grandfather.

Magistrate Andrew Maughan granted the request despite the man’s case, but imposed a strict curfew that would only allow him to leave his home with his father or his bail support worker.

Mr Maughan said there would be severe consequences if he broke his bond.

“He may as well wear his toothbrush in court if he breaks it,” the magistrate said.

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