Two Children Arrested After Glenroy Tobacco Store Fires

Two children have been arrested this week as part of the Detectives from Taskforce Lunar investigation into two tobacco store fires in Glenroy earlier this month.

A 17-year-old Deanside boy was arrested this morning at his home address and interviewed by police.

He was subsequently charged with criminal damage by fire (arson), theft of motor vehicle and possess prohibited weapon.

The boy was bailed to appear at a children’s court at a later date.

A Hoppers Crossing Boy was arrested yesterday by detectives from Brimbank Crime Investigation Unit as part of an investigation into an unrelated series of incidents.

He is currently remanded in custody on those separate matters and Taskforce Lunar detectives expect to charge him with criminal damage by fire (arson), theft of motor vehicle, possess prohibited weapon and possess cannabis.

The arrests follow two fires at separate tobacco stores in Glenroy on 17 May.

Emergency services were initially called to a business on Morgan Court about 4.15am, with a second fire being reported at a Belair Avenue premises only minutes later.

The investigation into the fires remains ongoing.

Taskforce Lunar was established in October 2023 to investigate organised crime syndicates believed to be heavily involved in the illicit tobacco trade and an ongoing dispute for profit.

This includes a series of 59 arsons at stores selling tobacco across Victoria.

Detectives from Taskforce Lunar have arrested 62 people so far as a result of their investigations.

The taskforce has also been supported by members of the VIPER taskforce, with over 100 search warrants executed at properties linked to illicit tobacco and more than 80 people arrested.

The taskforce includes specialist resources from across Crime Command and also works closely with regional police, as well as a range of external agencies such as the ABF, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), AFP and ATO.

Anyone with information about these fires is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at

Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Graham Banks, Taskforce Lunar:

“This is yet again another example of organised crime groups utilising vulnerable children to commit extremely serious crimes.

One of the boys involved suffered serious burns, which we are consistently seeing occurring and it is only a matter of time before one of these offenders kill themselves, or an innocent member of the public.

These arrests were extremely timely and reflect the hard work being undertaken by Taskforce Lunar investigators, who will continue the investigation to identify those who tasked the children.”

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