Three Men Nabbed In Raids Across The Hunter After String Of 14 Armed Robberies

Strike Force officers have nabbed three men after a spate of armed robberies in the Hunter this year.

Last month, detectives launched investigations under Strike Force Conge into 14 incidents.

This morning, detectives executed five search warrants at properties in Maryland, Horseshoe Bend, Metford, Tenambit and Tamworth.

Three men – aged 18, 19 and 21 – were arrested and taken to local police stations, where it is expected they will be charged.

Some of the worst violent hold ups being investigated span the region and date back to mid-January.

Just after 4am on Monday January 17, a 79-year-old man was walking along Charlestown Road at Charlestown, when he was allegedly assaulted and robbed by three men, who had pulled over in a stolen dark grey Mercedes CLA250. The man was also threatened with a crowbar. He sustained minor injuries and did not require medical treatment.

About half an hour later, four men exited a dark grey Mercedes at a service station on the Pacific Highway at Bennetts Green, and allegedly threatened an employee. One of the men jumped the counter and allegedly stole several items from the store, before fleeing.

At 4am on Tuesday January 18, a 42-year-old man was approached by three men who again exited a dark grey Mercedes outside New Lambton’s Blackbutt Hotel on Orchardtown Road. The man, an employee of the hotel, was allegedly robbed of his wallet, mobile phone and watch after being threatened with a knife.

Two days later on January 20 at about 5.10am, three males – one armed with a knife – entered the SPAR Express convenience store on Swan Street in Morpeth, and allegedly stole cash from the register. The attendant – a 47-year-old man – confronted the group, before he was punched in the face and stabbed in the abdomen. The group then fled the scene in a stolen white Subaru Liberty. The employee was treated at the scene by paramedics, before being taken to John Hunter Hospital, and has since been released.

The trio of arrests made during the raids which kicked off at 6am today, come after extensive police work.

A 21-year-old man was arrested at Tamworth and taken to Tamworth Police Station.

An 18-year-old Horseshoe Bend man was arrested at a home at Largs and taken to Newcastle Police Station.

Meanwhile, a third man – aged 19 – was arrested at Maryland and taken to Waratah Police Station.

All three are expected to be charged as investigations under Strike Force Conge continue.