Pokies bandit to be charged over theft

Laura Polson

A man has been arrested following an alleged eight-year crime spree stealing cash from poker machines in Queensland and NSW.

The 53-year-old was arrested at a Gold Coast home on Tuesday in relation to break and enter offences committed between 2009 and 2017.

Queensland Police allege the man targeted poker machines in more than 100 sports clubs and other commercial businesses.

Detective Senior Sergeant Jason Hindmarsh said the man would enter the clubs in the early hours of the morning, while they were closed.

He forced entry to the premises with his faced covered by clothing.

Detective Hindmarsh said over time the man's methods became more refined, taking just minutes to get in and out with notes and coins.

He returned to several Gold Coast sporting clubs on a number of occasions and knew how to disable businesses' alarms.

Police are likely to charge the man with 28 break and enter offences, with more charges expected to be laid.

He will appear before the court on Wednesday.