Police charge three after investigation into North Coast armed robberies and shooting

Detectives have charged three men as part of investigations into a series of armed robberies and a public place shooting on the state’s North Coast.

Just after 9pm on Sunday 12 November 2017, five men – armed with a machete and iron bars – entered a golf club on West Street, Casino, and threatened two male employees.

One of the employees, a 46-year-old man, was hit with the machete and suffered bruising, before the men fled the scene empty handed.

Police were called to a second incident about 5am on Tuesday 9 July 2019 and were told three men – armed with bars – approached an employee outside a newsagency at Laurieton.

One of the men allegedly hit the 55-year-old male employee, before threatening him.

They stole cash and fled the store.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad and Mid North Coast Police District established Strike Force Yengo to investigate the incidents which are believed to be linked.

During the course of the investigation, police received information about shots fired at a home on Rodlee Street, Wauchope, on Wednesday 10 July 2019.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives, assisted by Strike Force Raptor North, Public Order and Riot Squad, Northern Region Operations Support Group and the Dog Unit, executed six search warrants at homes at Port Macquarie, West Kempsey, South Kempsey, Greenhill and Burnt Bridge about 6.30am today (Wednesday 9 October 2019).

Investigators also conducted a Firearms Prohibition Order (FPO) search at a home at Port Macquarie.

During the searches, police seized two long-arm firearms, a home-made handgun, $10,000 cash, mobile phones, cannabis, and clothing.

Three men – aged 19, 23 and 29 – were arrested during the operation and taken to Kempsey Police Station.

The 19-year-old man was charged with six offences including two counts of accessory before the fact to fire firearm at dwelling-house with disregard for safety, give firearm to person not authorised by licence, supply, give ammunition to person not authorised, possess unauthorised firearm, and possess ammunition without holding licence.

The 23-year-old man was charged with eight offences including robbery armed with offensive weapon, take person in company with intent to commit serious indictable, take person in company with intent to commit serious indictable, robbery armed with offensive weapon, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, fire firearm at dwelling-house with disregard for safety, possess loaded firearm public place, acquire firearm – subject to prohibition order.

The 29-year-old man was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

They were all refused bail to appear at Kempsey Local Court today.

Investigations under Strike Force Yengo are continuing and further arrests are expected.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Yengo detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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