Breakthrough in WA brewery keg theft case

November 13, 2019

 

WA Police believe they have cracked a syndicate that is dealing in stolen kegs after a series of raids this month.

 

Three men have been arrested and almost 100 kegs recovered after an operation to investigate stolen brewery equipment.

 

The Sip has been maintaining updates on the kegs theft for several weeks and confirmed with the State’s police force today that it had made a breakthrough in the case.

 

One of the key elements behind the raids was the discovery of kegs from a range of breweries at a scrap metal dealer yard in Bayswater two weeks ago.

 

It followed the theft of almost 80 of the vessels from Blasta Brewing in Burswood last month – all taken in overnight incidents.

 

The police investigation revealed the kegs were being sold for scrap metal.

 

Several businesses have reported the practice in recent years and the situation got so dire for Mash Brewing in 2017 that for a month it offered a pint of its product to anyone who returned one of its marked kegs to its Swan Valley venue.

Many breweries have spotted their kegs being sold through Gumtree.

 

The keg theft is having a major impact on the bottom line of the 70-plus breweries across the State.

 

One local operation conducted an audit of its kegs this month and determined more than $25,000 worth of the vessels had gone missing.

 

The WA Brewers Association is hoping to forge stronger links with WA Police and devise a strategy that can reduce the number of stolen kegs.

 

WABA will also work on a public education campaign to highlight that kegs theft is a major impost for breweries and affects the price of beer.

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