Detectives have charged four teenagers over multiple alleged assaults and robberies on the state’s North Coast.
Between Monday 31 October and Saturday 12 November 2022, five men – aged 77, 58, 53, 50 and 27 – were allegedly seriously assaulted in separate incidents at Evans Head and Ballina.
All five required hospital treatment.
Detectives from Richmond Police District – with assistance from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad – established Strike Force Temoin after it was determined the incidents were linked.
Police will allege in each incident the men had arranged to meet a person they had been communicating with online.
After arriving at the agreed location, the men were allegedly confronted by a group of youths before being assaulted and robbed.
Following extensive inquiries, detectives located and seized a white utility during a search warrant at a property on the Pacific Highway at Broadwater about 1.20pm on Thursday (17 November 2022).
The vehicle was taken for forensic examination.
Following further inquiries, about 6pm, detectives arrested a 16-year-old boy during a vehicle stop on Langs Way in Broadwater.
He was taken to Ballina Police Station where he was charged with robbery in company cause wounding/grievous bodily harm (x4), and wound person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
About 9am yesterday (Friday 18 November 2022), a 17-year-old boy was arrested after attending Ballina Police Station.
He was charged with aggravated robbery with wounding (x2) and wound with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Both teens were bail refused and appeared in a children’s court yesterday.
About 12.30pm, after subsequent inquiries, detectives arrested two further teenage boys.
The boys, both aged 17 and from Broadwater, were taken to Ballina Police Station where they were charged with aggravated robbery with wounding and wound with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The pair was refused bail to appear in a children’s court today (Saturday 19 November 2022).
After the arrests, search warrants were executed at homes in New Italy, West Ballina, Evans Head, and two in Broadwater.
Items including prohibited drugs and goods suspected of being stolen during the assaults, were seized and will undergo forensic examination.
Inquiries by Strike Force Temoin detectives continue; anyone with information is urged to contact police.