THE lead detective in Bass Coast Crime Investigation Unit’s burglary case against Cowes brothers Joshua and Taylor Savage has responded to community backlash following a court’s decision to release the men on bail.

Detective Senior Constable Liza Burrows explained that the outcome of the brothers’ September 28 appeal to Justice Coghlan at the Victorian Supreme Court wasn’t unexpected, as in relation to property crimes such as burglary, only offenders with significant criminal history were likely to remain on remand, and neither Joshua, 28, nor Taylor, 27, was considered to have such a history.

Det Burrows said the community could rest assured the prosecution had secured “very stringent” bail conditions, including that neither of the brothers was allowed to reside in the Bass Coast or South Gippsland areas during the bail period.

“Both are under a strict curfew and are only able to visit Bass Coast/South Gippsland for a short period after requesting permission from police, and this doesn’t include an overnight stay,” Det Burrows said.

“If these bail conditions are breached by either of them, they would again be put before the court and most likely remain on remand until their next court date, in January,” she said.

The brothers are accused of stealing more than $650,000 in cash and property from 17 local small business owners between January and July this year.

They will return to court for a committal mention on January 7, 2021.