Accused jewel thief to stay in jail

AN ACCUSED jewellery thief was found with 66 gold necklaces and bracelets at his home but said he did not steal them. And he had a sworn statement from a friend to prove it.

Andrew Simon Bell, 44, is facing charges relating to the alleged robbery of a Nambour jewellery store and receipt of tainted property.

He applied for bail at Brisbane Supreme Court.

But it was denied on Friday after a judge deemed it was too risky because of Mr Bell's criminal history.

The court heard Mr Bell and another man allegedly went to the jewellery store on March 25 this year and looked at gold necklaces.

The next day, a man in disguise walked into the store carrying a hammer and smashed the cabinet and allegedly stole 66 gold pieces of jewellery, including necklaces and bracelets, worth about $20,000.

The following day police allegedly found the jewellery pieces at Mr Bell's house in Montville.

He told police he had bought the jewellery from someone else.

A sworn legal document from Mr Bell's friend and prior criminal associate stated Mr Bell was not personally involved in the jewellery store robbery.

Justice Peter Flanagan said he was concerned about Mr Bell's extensive criminal history and that there was a real risk he would re-offend.

He said the criminal history spanned four Australian states and the past 26 years. - APN NEWSDESK

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