Police charge two after firearms found in abandoned vehicle at Kempsey

PLEASE NOTE: NSW Police-branded vision of the arrest are available via Hightail: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/LoX427U87Q

A man and a woman have been charged after firearms and ammunition were found in a vehicle following a pursuit on the Mid North Coast.

About 2.25am on Thursday 5 May 2022, officers attached to Mid North Coast Police District saw two vehicles – a black Subaru Liberty wagon and a grey Volkswagen Golf sedan – allegedly being driven in convoy at high speed along Middleton Street, South Kempsey.

When police approached the vehicles, both were driven away.

Officers followed the wagon but when the driver didn’t stop as directed, a pursuit was initiated.

The pursuit continued through the suburbs of Dondingalong and Frederickton, allegedly reaching speeds of approximately 180km/hr.

As the wagon approached Gowings Hill Road, Sherwood, the vehicle left the roadway and travelled into a creek. Police saw a man run from the vehicle but he couldn’t be found despite a search.

During a subsequent search of the wagon, police found a .22 calibre shortened rifle, a revolver, a silencer, ammunition, and methylamphetamine.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad and Mid North Coast Police District commenced Strike Force Cestus to investigate.

Following further extensive investigations, strike force detectives – with assistance of the Tactical Operations Unit – arrested a 33-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman at a motel in Kempsey about 7.30am yesterday (Tuesday 17 May 2022).

Police then executed two search warrants at Kempsey and South Kempsey, with mobile phones, prohibited drugs and several knives seized for further forensic examination.

The man was taken to Kempsey Police Station and charged with 12 offences, including armed with intent to commit indictable offence, possess firearm without authorisation, possess loaded firearm in a public place, police pursuit, and goods in custody.

He was later taken to Port Macquarie Base Hospital under police guard for treatment to a prior injury, where he remains. He is due to appear at Kempsey Local Court today (Wednesday 18 May 2022).

The woman was taken to Kempsey Police Station and charged with hinder apprehension person who committed serious offence. She was granted conditional bail to appear at Kempsey Local Court on Monday 6 June 2022.

Robbery and Serious Crime Squad’s Detective Chief Inspector Paul Smith says collaborative work between state crime detectives and local police continues to bolster capabilities in regional NSW.

“This joint effort between Mid North Coast Police and our State Crime Command officers is a perfect example of how the NSW Police Force and our various units continue to work together to make our communities safer.

“We have eyes and ears across the state and will continue to travel into regional NSW to ensure these dangerous weapons and insidious illicit drugs are off our streets,” Det Ch Insp Smith said.

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