Police investigating drug supply uncover Aladdin’s cave of stolen property

Police have located an Aladdin’s cave of stolen property as part of an ongoing investigation into the supply of prohibited drugs across Sydney’s North Shore.

In June 2019, detectives from North Shore Police Area Command established Strike Force Yugari to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs in the local area.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives executed a search warrant at a home on Centennial Avenue, Lane Cove, on Friday 26 July 2019.

During the search, police seized a large amount of property including a cross bow, extendable baton, a pair of throwing knives, and an electronic controlled device.

Three men – aged 24, 26, and 33 – were arrested at the home and taken to Chatswood Police Station.

The 24-year-old Lane Cove man was charged with supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis, six counts of possess or use a prohibited weapon without permit, goods in personal custody suspected of being stolen, possess ammunition without holding a licence, two counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime, and two counts of drive motor vehicle during disqualification period.

He was refused bail and appeared at Hornsby Local Court on Saturday 27 July 2019. He has been remanded into custody and is next due to appear at the same court on Wednesday 25 September 2019.

The 26-year-old St Clair man was charged with possess prohibited drug and possess identify information to commit an indictable offence.

He was granted strict conditional bail and is next due to appear at Hornsby Local Court on Friday 8 November 2019.

The 33-year-old Toronto man was issued with a Field Court Attendance Notice for the offence of possess prohibited drug and will next appear at Hornsby Local Court on Tuesday 24 September 2019.

As part of ongoing inquiries, strike force detectives, assisted by officers from Sydney City Police Area Command, conducted a search of a storage area in the basement of an apartment complex at Pyrmont, about 9.30am on Monday 29 July 2019.

Investigators located an elaborate “cave”, under the building, which also included one rainwater tank which was converted to a bedroom, another which was in the early stages of established as a hydroponic cannabis setup.

There was also an array of shelving systems being used to store more than 250 items of property – including electrical, sporting, garden equipment and power tools – which are alleged to have been stolen from storage units at Pyrmont and Sydney CBD between February and June 2019.

The location underwent an extensive forensic examination before all the property was removed.

Following inquiries, strike force detectives applied for and were granted an arrest warrant for a 42-year-old man.

About 1.15am on Sunday 18 August 2019, a Holden ute drove off from officers from Nepean Police Area Command on Timgalen Avenue, South Penrith.

A pursuit was initiated, but police lost sight of the vehicle near Batt Street and Regentville Road.

About 2pm, officers from Sutherland Police Area Command located the ute unattended on Sutherland Lane, Sutherland, before arresting the 42-year-old man at a nearby licensed premises.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle, police located ice, cannabis, drug paraphernalia, and stolen number plates.

He was taken to Sutherland Police Station and charged with receive property-theft, destroy or damage property, and conspiracy to cultivate cannabis for commercial purpose, police pursuit – not stop – drive at speed, two counts of possess prohibited drug, goods in personal custody suspected being stolen, use unregistered vehicle, and drive with expired licence.

Police will allege in court that the man, who was a building manager at the apartment complex, was residing in the cave, using it to store stolen property, and was in the process of establishing a hydroponic set-up to cultivate cannabis.

He was refused bail and is next due to appear at Sutherland Local Court on Monday 30 September 2019.

Strike force detectives are now in the process of returning the stolen items to their rightful owners.

Investigations under Strike Force Yugari are continuing.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Yugari investigators 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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