A man will face court today as part of an investigation into a series of armed robberies on the Central Coast over the past month.
About 8.15pm on Friday 13 September 2019, two men – one armed with a shortened double-barrel shotgun – entered a liquor store at Long Jetty and threatened the staff member and a customer, demanding cash. The men stole cash and the customer’s wallet before running from the store.
In the second incident, a man armed with a shortened double-barrel shotgun entered a Wamberal liquor store, just before 8pm on Wednesday 18 September 2019, and threatened the employee before taking cash and fleeing the scene.
The third incident occurred about 9pm on Monday 30 September 2019 at a Shelly Beach club, where two men – one of which was armed with a shortened double-barrel shotgun – threatened staff and security, demanding cash. Both men fled the scene with cash.
About 7.15am on Tuesday 8 October 2019, a man armed with a shortened double-barrel shotgun entered a Bateau Bay liquor store, and threatened the staff member, demanding cash and cigarettes. The man stole cash, cigarettes, and whisky before running from the store and entering the passenger side of a waiting vehicle.
Local detectives commenced inquiries into each incident before Strike Force Conus was established by detectives from the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad to investigate the incidents, which were believed to be linked.
Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives, assisted by the Tactical Operations Unit (TOU), arrested a 42-year-old man during a vehicle stop on Flathead Road, Ettalong Beach, about 7.40pm yesterday (Thursday 17 October 2019).
Shortly after the arrest, investigators attended a nearby home, which appeared to have been booby trapped.
The home was rendered safe with the assistance of police negotiators and TOU operatives, before a search warrant was executed.
During the search, police seized ammunition, handcuffs, and various items of interest to investigation.
The man was taken to Gosford Police Station before being taken by NSW Ambulance paramedics to hospital for treatment.
He has since been charged with two counts each of robbery whilst armed with dangerous weapon, in company; and robbery whilst armed with dangerous weapon, drive whilst disqualified and possess ammunition.
The Ettalong Beach man has been refused bail to appear at Gosford Local Court later today (Friday 18 October 2019).
Investigations under Strike Force Conus are continuing.
Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Conus detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.