ONE of three men accused of stealing $285,000 from ATMs across the region has been refused bail.
Magistrate Gregory Robinson denied bail to Martin Locandro, 41, who is on remand and accused of being involved in burglaries at banks, community buildings, and shops in Beaufort, Creswick, Skipton, Dunkeld, Lake Bolac, Queenscliffe, Ballan, and Clunes since November last year.
He was arrested on March 5, and faced the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Wednesday for a bail application, which was opposed by police prosecutors, who said he was an unacceptable flight risk.
Detective Senior Constable Rob Ormerod from the Armed Crimes Squad, standing in for the informant, said Locandro would have "access to a portion of the money" stolen.
The money has not yet been recovered, police revealed.
Locandro lives with his sister in Ballarat, his lawyer Stephen Lindner argued, and there was no evidence of "undue enrichment" or "unusual expenditure".
His sister Anne-Marie was called as a witness, and confirmed Locandro contributed to rent and expenses, including babysitting for his niece.
When asked if she would report to police if he moved, she replied, "definitely".
Mr Lindner said evidence of Locandro's alleged involvement was circumstantial, adding he was not a flight risk because of his connections to Ballarat and lack of a passport.
Mr Robinson disagreed, noting the alleged offending, which ended in Clunes when offenders used a stolen front-end loader to destroy a newsagency facade, had been "escalating in terms of seriousness on a very steep trajectory".
A committal mention hearing is set for May 30.