TWO men arrested over the weekend face charges over multiple robberies – including at the IGA liquor store in Lochiel Av, Mt Martha, overnight on 28 November, where a quantity of cigarettes was stolen.
The 32-year-old Preston man and a 32-year-old Epping man also face charges relating to five other burglaries as part of an operation investigating a series of commercial burglaries across Melbourne.
They were arrested by the Eastern Region Crime Squad on Mendip Rd, Reservoir, on Sunday. Charges include aggravated burglary, burglary, theft, theft of motor vehicle, criminal damage by fire and handle stolen goods.
Other burglaries occurred at Wills St, Kew, on 9 January, Botanic Drive, Kew, on 13 January, Barton St, Surrey Hills, on 13 January, Mitcham Rd, Mitcham, on 14 January and Raleigh Rd, Maribyrnong, on 14 January. The men have also been charged over two alleged car thefts in Roxburgh Park and Kew.
The men were remanded to appear at Melbourne Magistrate’s Court at a date to be fixed. Their arrests follow a series of commercial burglaries at service stations, supermarkets and liquor stores where cigarettes were stolen, dating back to November, as well as recent residential burglaries.
Inquiries are also pending in relation to a number of other burglary and theft of motor vehicle offences dating back to 21 October.
Detective Senior Sergeant Matt Baynes said the arrests were a great result and showed police are strongly focused on addressing these crimes.
“Police will continue to identify, target, arrest and charge those people who engage in this type of offending, especially those who are recidivist offenders,” he said.
“The same goes for those people who are willing to receive and sell stolen property, increasing the impact of these crimes on the community.
“The offending we’re seeing is not limited to just one part of Melbourne and investigators are also keen to speak to anyone who has knowledge of these types of offences taking place in their local area.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.