Detectives investigating a series of aggravated break-ins and ram raids, including one where a bobcat was used to steal an automatic teller machine (ATM), have conducted a five-day forensic search in a river in the state’s south.
Police were called to a shopping complex in Moama, following reports a bobcat had driven through the front doors about 4.30am on Monday 25 February 2019.
On arrival, officers found one ATM had been stolen from the premises and another had been extensively damaged.
A crime scene was established, with officers locating several items relevant to investigation, including a crowbar and a Mitsubishi Triton utility. These items were seized to undergo forensic examination.
Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad and Murray River Police District took carriage of the investigation under Strike Force Burrandoot.
Strike force investigators are also examining links to an aggravated break-in and theft of an ATM from a licenced premises in Wakool, about 60km west of Deniliquin, about 2.30am on Wednesday 20 February 2019.
A Toyota Hilux utility, believed to be involved in the Wakool robbery, was later recovered that day from the Edward River near Deniliquin, along with parts of stolen firearms.
Just after 11am on Sunday (19 May 2019), a 69-year-old man was riding his bicycle on Lawson Syphron Road at Deniliquin, when he saw what was believed to be parts of an ATM.
The parts were seized, with the assistance of the NSW Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit, and underwent a forensic examination, where they were later identified as the machine stolen from Wakool.
Following further inquiries, Strike Force Burrandoot investigators, with the assistance of the NSW Police divers, commenced a forensic search along irrigation channels in the Edward River from Monday (20 May 2019); which has continued over the next five days.
A crime scene warrant was also executed at a caravan park in Deniliquin.
During these searches, investigators have located and seized firearms and firearm parts, believed to have been stolen, to undergo forensic examination.
Robbery and Serious Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, urged those in the community with more information about the robberies to come forward.
“We are continuing to forensically examine items located during the recent search, including the discovery of stolen firearms, and while we await those results, we call on the public for their assistance,” Det Supt Doherty said.
“The community is one of our greatest assets in investigations and we believe there are people out there who may know more, but for some reason, have not made contact.
“Make no mistake, these ATM thefts are the work of thugs. Our investigators will not stop until they apprehend those responsible for these brazen acts and put them before the courts.”
Det Supt Doherty said Strike Force Burrandoot investigators will continue to liaise with Victoria Police as they continue their investigations into the robbery.
Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Burrandoot investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.