Dead man's ute, electricity 'stolen by neighbour'
WHILE a dead man lay unidentified in a morgue for a year, police claim his neighbour stole his ute and electricity from his home.
A 56-year-old Wallangarra man was charged on Tuesday with unlawful use of a motor vehicle and theft of electricity, two years after his neighbour passed away.
Wallangarra police's Sergeant Alan Baker said the dead man was estranged from his family, so his interstate relatives were not aware he had died until a year later.
When the family discovered the man, who was 62, had no will they made a complaint to police in relation to his ute.
Sgt Baker said his neighbour had used the vehicle, a 2013 SV6 Holden Commodore ute, for two years and registered it in his own name.
Police have seized the ute.
"It'll be alleged the male charged took advantage of a vulnerable male living alone and estranged from his family," Sgt Baker said.
"From a police officer's perspective it's very disappointing that a vulnerable individual was targeted in this manner."
The charged man claimed he bought the ute from his neighbour before he died, SgtBaker said.
He is scheduled to appear in Stanthorpe Magistrates Court on August 21.
Sgt Baker said further charges may be laid as investigations showed the dead man's bank account was accessed after he died. Details on the alleged transactions had been passed to Tenterfield police.