Police arrest three after off-duty officer intervenes during ram raid at Central Coast supermarket

Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives have arrested three men following an investigation into an alleged ram raid at a supermarket on the state’s Central Coast last week.

Just after 2am last Friday (21 May 2021), an off-duty police officer contacted emergency services after hearing a loud noise at a nearby supermarket at Cresthaven Avenue, Bateau Bay.

The off duty senior constable – attached to Brisbane Water Police District – drove to the area, where he saw a white Pantech truck parked inside the front doors of the store.

The truck was allegedly reversed at speed toward the officer’s vehicle, before it began to head north on Cresthaven Avenue and into Curzon Street.

The driver of the truck then reversed again and collided with the officer’s car.

Following the collision, a male passenger got out of the truck and got in a parked dark blue vehicle, while the truck drove into Promenade Avenue, then Peak Street.

The off-duty officer continued to follow the truck, until the male driver stopped at Hume Boulevard, exited the vehicle and approached the senior constable with an axe.

After threatening the officer, the armed man drove off and the truck was later found abandoned at the intersection of Tasman Avenue and Yangoora Streets, Killarney Vale.

The off-duty officer was not physically injured during the incident.

During the incident, officers attached to Traffic and Highway Patrol Command attempted to stop a dark blue Audi travelling at speed on Wyong Road at Tumbi Umbi.

A pursuit was initiated; however, was terminated a short time later due to safety concerns.

Officers from Tuggerah Lakes Police District attended and with assistance from the Dog Unit, established a perimeter and conducted an extensive search of the area; however, the men were not located.

Initial inquiries were conducted by local police, before detectives from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad took carriage of the investigation under Strike Force Leewood.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives executed three search warrants at homes at Gladesville, Chatswood and Penrith from 7am today (Tuesday 25 May 2021).

During the search of the Gladesville home, officers seized a dark blue Audi, which will undergo further forensic examination.

During a search of the Chatswood home, police located and seized a firearm, which will also undergo further examination.

A 46-year-old man was arrested at Gladesville, while a 43-year-old man was arrested at Chatswood. Both men were taken to Ryde Police Station.

A 44-year-old man was arrested at Penrith and taken to Penrith Police Station.

All three remain in police custody, where charges are expected to be laid.

Robbery and Serious Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Andrew Koutsoufis, said strike force investigators conducted a swift and thorough investigation into this incident.

“The offences that occurred on Friday night were brazen, reckless and dangerous, and had the potential to cause significant injury to the public and the off-duty officer who stepped in,” Det Supt Koutsoufis said.

“These individuals targeted a small business on the state’s Central Coast, all to make a quick grab for cash without considering the affect it can have on the community.

“NSW Police, together with the public, will not tolerate this level of violence and like today, will act swiftly to ensure those responsible are put before the courts,” Det Supt Koutsoufis said.

Brisbane Water Police District Commander, Detective Superintendent Brett Greentree, praised the off-duty senior constable for his actions.

“The courage displayed by the off-duty police officer last Friday night is exemplary, and he has been commended for his actions,” Det Supt Greentree said.

“The reality is that police face many dangerous scenarios every shift they work, and they will do everything they can to protect the lives of the people of NSW.

“The commitment to protecting the community doesn’t stop at the end of the day, or when the uniform comes off, and we are exceptionally proud to have such dedicated police among our ranks,” Det Supt Greentree said.

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