Backpackers and campervan hire enthusiasts who want to travel and visit Gympie in Queensland can now breathe a sigh of relief. According to recent reports, the third of three brothers responsible for stealing camping and fishing gear from numerous victims and travellers in the area has been finally convicted.

Over the last few months, many travellers and campers, including locals and those who have obtained cheap campervan hire services from neighbouring cities, complained that many of their personal belongings and camping equipment have gone missing. It turned out that 22-year-old Luke Raymond Harvey and his two brothers were the people responsible for the theft.

Magistrate Simon Young, who was in charge of the trial, heard that in July last year, a Gympie resident reported two men acting suspiciously near his neighbour’s boat. He took note of the details of the cars parked suspiciously close to his neighbour’s property and reported it to the police, which linked the series of thefts to two of the Harvey brothers. A month later, the police searched an East Deep Creek property and found a campervan, as well as an array of camping gear and other trailers. However, it remains unclear if some of the trailers found were owned by local campervan hire companies.

According to the police, the campervan, which was reported to be stolen from a home in Poona, had been spray painted black. Its chassis number and registration plate were also removed. The police continued their search at a home along Hilton Road the following day and found stolen property, including a portable DVD player and several fishing rods. The authorities believed that the items found at the scene originally belonged to local campers and visiting cheap campervan hire enthusiasts.

Harvey pleaded guilty to stealing and possessing tainted property. His lawyer argued that the defendant had only been strung along by his brothers, but Magistrate Young pointed out that Harvey was “very much aware” that he was doing the wrong thing when he was stealing from local and visiting tourists and campervan hire enthusiasts. Harvey was sentenced to 12 months probation and 80 hours of community service. His two brothers were previously given the same sentence.

With this latest development, campers and backpackers who wish to get campervan hire services and visit the region can rest assured that they are safe from thieves and burglars. However, the authorities warned that they should still exercise caution, remember to lock their campervans and trailers, and secure their personal belongings to avoid losing their valuables.