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MOST WANTED: CQ pair finally behind bars after 8 years on run

Gino Stocco is escorted by two policemen as he is taken into Dubbo police station after he and his son Mark were arrested earlier in the day in Dunedoo in north west NSW. Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015.
Gino Stocco is escorted by two policemen as he is taken into Dubbo police station after he and his son Mark were arrested earlier in the day in Dunedoo in north west NSW. Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. DAVID MOIR

GINO AND Mark Stucco had racked up offences all over Queensland and New South Wales dating back to before 2009 including some in the Central Queensland region.

On March 30, the father and son duo appeared in NSW Supreme Court facing charges of murder, destroying property with fire, two counts of discharge firearm to resist arrest and several offences related to guns, driving matters and stolen goods.

The father, Gino Stucco, 59, was involved in multiple offences in Theodore in 2012.

Gino was driving a vehicle down the boulevard in Theodore in a vehicle that has stolen registration plates and was not wearing a seatbelt.

He was directed to stop and refused to pull over.

Theodore police charged Gino with evading police, driving unregistered and uninsured vehicle, no license, and being in possession of tainted goods.

Earlier on in their career, in 2009, the duo committed offences against ex-Banana Shire Council Mayor Ron Carige and his wife Anne.

Gino and Mark had responded to an advertisement the Cariges' had put in the Queensland Country Life for a caretaker on their neighbouring property on the Boyne River near Munduberra.

"When they arrived, there was immediate suspicion as they turned up in a pretty flash Toyota," Anne said.

"We have had caretakers before and they don't usually have many worldly possessions per say, and they turned up in a nice car and fancy clothes," Ron said.

"It also didn't add up to us because they wanted to sleep together in the same bed and they told us they were father and son," Anne said.

Unbeknownst to Ron and Anne of the criminals they turned out to be, Gino and Mark were pleasant employees.

"They did a bit of gardening and they did it quite well," Anne said.

"They were very helpful and always wanted to please us," Ron said.

The duo lived on the neighbouring property to the Cariges' three kilometres away and didn't have the opportunity to carry out any serious offences.

"We were only next door, we used to move cattle around we were always over at the yards," Ron said.

The Stuccos had been caretaking for around a week or two when they came over and said their kitchen tap was broken.

"They said they would fix it if we could get the parts so we sent them in to the local hardware store," Anne said.

"Then we didn't see them for another two or three days and went over to look for them.

"On the way over I noticed all the oranges were gone off the tree which was odd as well."

When Ron and Anne arrived at the property Gino and Mark were caretaking, the pair were nowhere to be found.

"They had packed up and gone, I tried to call them and obviously got no answer," Anne said.

"And the pressure pump was gone which was strange," Ron said.

Still unaware they were working with criminals, Ron and Anne thought no more of it.

"Then we got our monthly account from the hardware store in town and they had racked up a frying pan and electrical equipment on our account as well," Anne said.

In the later months, Ron and Anne were added to an email trail by AgForce when it all unfolded the pair were experts in ripping off farmers.

"It was a warning to not employ these people," Ron said.

"We followed them for months right down to New South Wales."

Ron and Anne consider themselves to be the lucky ones as they did not sustain nowhere near the damage they did to other farmers.

"Who knows what ticked them off and made them shot through," Ron said.

"In hindsight we were pretty fortunate we were early on in their career."

After leaving Mundubbera, the pair travelled throughout Australia's eastern states seeking work on properties.

They turned violently towards their employers, vandalised properties, stole goods and caused millions of dollars of damage to sheds, machinery and equipment.

In one vengeful incidence they drilled puncture holes in nearly 100 tyres in a deranged act.

"Obviously there are people that had millions and hundreds of dollars destroyed, we consider ourselves lucky," Ron said.

"On the whole we didn't suffer like everyone else did," Anne said.

Six years after they left the Cariges' in Mundubbera, after committing various other serious offences, the pair murdered a caretaker at property near Dubbo in New South Wales.

The Stuccos were arrested by police on October 28, 2015, after an eight-year crime spree and have remained in custody until they appeared before court on March 30.

Gino, 59, and Mark, 37, received a head sentence of 40 years. Gino was granted a non-parole of 28 years and Mark was granted non-parole of 30 years.

"It is great news, especially for those people that suffered so much more, mentally, physically and financially," Anne said.

"I am glad they probably won't be coming out of jail."

Topics:  justice system ron carige


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