‘I rob chemists:’ Crime roundup

A man has received a suspended sentence for breaking into three pharmacies and making videos of himself with stolen drugs, which are now evidence in a murder investigation

Hayden Kratzmann is one of several people facing murder charges in relation to the death of 19-year-old Cian English, reports the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Mr English, originally from Ireland but at the time of his death living in Brisbane, reportedly fell to his death from a balcony at a Surfers Paradise resort in May 2020.

Twenty-year-old Mr Kratzmann, alongside two other men, have been charged with Mr English’s murder. This charge has yet to be heard.

This week Mr Kratzmann pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court to 48 charges, including break and enter and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Police documents showed that while investigating Mr English’s murder, they came across videos on Mr Kratzmann’s phone linking him to the robbery of three pharmacies.

On May 20 and 21 last year, Mr Kratzmann broke into a home and stole electronics as well as a black Mazda 3.

In the small hours of May 21, CCTV footage showed this Mazda outside the Terry White Chemist in Yarrabilba.

Two people broke into the pharmacy by smashing a glass panel with a block of concrete and stole prescription drugs.

Later the same morning, pharmacies in Maudsland and Ormeau were targeted, with prescription medicines again stolen from both.

Police say that the videos they found on the suspect’s phone during the murder investigation depicted Mr Kratzmann, still wearing the same clothes visible in the CCTV footage, boasting about the break-ins.

Mr Kratzmann’s phone also had a video which depicted him with a “large mountain of prescription drug boxes and bottles,” the Bulletin reports.

He was also shown in front of the medicines saying, “I rob chemists”.

Police have alleged that Mr Kratzmann and his co-accused were under the influence of stolen medicines at the time of Mr English’s death.

Mr Kratzmann’s blood was found at one of the pharmacy scenes as well as in the stolen car.

He was handed an 18-month sentence, wholly suspended, for these offences as well as kicking his girlfriend and pushing her down some stairs.

He remains in custody.


Gladstone, Queensland: A man has pleaded guilty to a public nuisance offence after he attacked a shelf in a Chemist Warehouse.

Upon discovering that the pharmacy at Gladstone had run out of hair removal cream, Dean Phelan Bates became “irate,” reports the Courier Mail, and lashed out at the shelf with his foot.

Later the next month in Rockhampton he was questioned about the incident, which was witnessed by other customers and caught on CCTV.

He made full admissions about the incident, was fined $600 at the Gladstone Magistrates Court and no conviction was recorded.


Bendigo, Victoria: The Herald Sun is warning that following a police investigation which halted the activities of a significant drug operation in the Bendigo area, illicit drug users are looking for alternatives, including prescription medicines.

Police recently arrested more than 200 people and discovered a shed which they say contained a pill press which could produce up to 1000 ecstasy tablets every minute it was used.

Bendigo Community Health Services mobile drug safety worker Paul Morgan told the paper that “literally tonnes of products” had been taken off the illicit drug market and that drug users were suffering as a result, facing the possibility of withdrawal seizures and being too ashamed to seek help.

He warned that people could seek out benzodiazepines and opioids instead.

“If you can’t get the illegal stuff the way to do it is get hold of a legal prescription,” Mr Morgan told the Herald Sun.

“Pharmacists are very well aware that there is an element of drug diversion in place.

“Pharmacists dispense it in good faith. Nevertheless you’re going to get people who try to get around this process.”

Pharmacy Guild of Australia Bendigo district representative Kin Chong told the paper that as yet there had been no dramatic increase in requests for opioids, but pharmacists were aware of the issue and being cautious.

He noted that many had increased their security given concerns about break-ins during COVID-19 lockdowns.


Warwick, Queensland: The Courier Mail has reported on two women who took items from Priceline pharmacies in two separate incidents.

The Warwick Magistrates Court heard that in February this year, Taylah Sherrie Lecomber paid for a number of items at the store, but when it came to a pack of laxatives she had chosen, instead removed the tag from the packaging and left without paying for it.

She pleaded guilty to a count of stealing and was fined $300. She was also told to pay Priceline $15.49 for the item.

This was the third similar offence she had committed over the previous year.

Meanwhile Melissa Rose Martin’s defence lawyer told the court that she had been suffering PTSD and memory loss when she left the Priceline at Rose City Shoppingworld without paying for infant drops and immune powder worth $42.98.

Before Christmas she had lost two children to a car accident, she said.

Her defence lawyer told the court that she had no memory of leaving Priceline with the product.

The incident followed a July 2020 incident when she picked up a tub of feed thickener worth $17.49 and left without paying for it, which she said was due to sleep deprivation and the stress of managing a child with significant needs.

Ms Martin pleaded guilty to two counts of unauthorised dealings with shop goods, and was fined $600 and ordered to pay $60.47 restitution.

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