Men assaulted, robbed in Melbourne's east Jane Holroyd June 13, 2011 Police are hunting for two men following an assault and robbery on a street in Melbourne's east last night. The victims, two men aged 25 and 47, were forced to hand over a bank card and keys when they were threatened by two men on Margot Street, Chadstone about 9pm. One of the offenders produced a knife while the other punched the younger man in the face. The two bandits, believed to be aged in their 20s, fled on foot. The man with the knife wore a bandage on one arm.
Police ask anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au.
A KNIFE-WIELDING man "lunged" through an open police car window in Melbourne, grazing the officer's face before he was able to drive off, police say. Officers had been trying to check on the man's welfare but he ran when a dog squad unit approached him in Reservoir in Melbourne's north at about 2am on Saturday.
The man then went up to the police car of an officer who had been driving around looking for him. "When the officer was in Kenilworth Street the man came to the driver's window armed with a knife, lunged in the vehicle and grazed the face of the police member before he was able to drive off," police said.
The man fled but was arrested at a Reservoir home two-and-a-half hours later. The 29-year-old Reservoir man is being questioned in relation to charges including attempted murder and assault. The police officer did not require medical treatment.
A POLICE officer was attacked with a knife triggering a three-hour manhunt in Melbourne’s north early this morning. Officers were first called to do a welfare check on a man near Reservoir train station on Spring St about 2am, but the man fled when approached by the dog squad unit. An officer drove around and when he parked in Kenilworth St the man came to the driver’s window, lunging at the officer’s face with a knife. The man then fled, but was arrested in an Edwards St house 2km away about two 1/2 hours later. A 29-year-old Reservoir man is being questioned by police in relation to charges including attempted murder and assaults.
The police officer suffered facial grazing and did not need medical treatment.
Knives have emerged as weapons of choice in murder and robbery over the past decade, with children as young as five carrying the weapons. A new study by the Australian Institute of Criminology says juveniles are increasingly carrying knives and say they do so for self protection. While many grow out of this conduct, others continue to carry knives in criminal activity such as drug use and dealing.
Institute of Criminology senior researcher Lorana Bartels said research had shown the most common age when boys started carrying a knife was 13-14. A smaller but substantial number admitted carrying them between five and 12, she said.
The AIC national homicide study shows the use of knives in murder remained relatively stable in the period 2001-09, although the 94 knife killings recorded in 2009 (36 per cent) was the second highest on record. But that was in the face an overall fall in the number of murders from 311 to 261 and the very significant decrease in use of firearms. Knives are now the most common instrument of murder and also of armed robbery, accounting for 47 per cent of all robberies.
In the latest research, the AIC reviewed data from its long-running Drug Use Monitoring Australia (DUMA) program in which detainees in selected police watchhouses and remand centres are surveyed on drug use and other criminal conduct. That revealed a significant number of those coming to the attention of police routinely carried knives.
Over the period 2005-09, 13,588 offenders were interviewed, with the overwhelming majority denying ever owning any weapon.
But about 2000 admitted owning one of more knives, with 310 saying they carried a knife every day and another 210 saying they carried a knife most days. "The most common justification given was protection/self defence," Dr Bartels said. Further, 429 (22 per cent) said they had used or threatened to use a knife in the previous 12 months.
"Despite media representations about the prevalence of knife crime, use in criminal activity was only cited as the main reason for possessing a knife by four to five per cent of respondents," she said.
Police have stepped up their hunt for axe-wielding bandits who are targeting McDonald's stores in Melbourne's south-east. Last night, three masked men brandishing a tomahawk, knife and tyre iron held up the McDonald's restaurant on the South Gippsland Highway at Cranbourne, around 11.15pm (AEST).
They threatened staff and stole cash before fleeing on foot.
It is believed the same group is behind robberies at 24 hour McDonald's stores in Keysborough and Lynbrook on Sunday and Monday nights.
Detective Paul Warren says police are keen to catch the men as quickly as possible.
"We'd appeal to the public if there's any witnesses that have sen a car taking off from the area around the Cranbourne McDonald's or anything suspicious, to contact Crimestoppers," he said. "We're throwing as many resources as we can at this issue."
Yesterday, detectives said they have not ruled out the possibility the men are former McDonald's employees. Safety concerns McDonalds stores across Melbourne have been placed on alert, and staff caught up in the robberies have been offered counselling. Detectives said yesterday the mostly teenage staff who have been targeted have been left traumatised.
Georgie Ferrari from the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria has urged all fast food companies to boost staff training and security at their stores.
"These fast food outlets must understand that they are employing very inexperienced young people who don't know what to do in a crisis situation," he said. "I imagine [they have] very little training for things like this and they are really exposing them at three in the morning to quite a great deal of risk."
McDonald's Australia spokesman Ron Christiansen says staff are given training to deal with armed robberies.
"That is certainly part of the training process that takes place, right from initial induction and it's ongoing throughout the course of an individuals career with McDonald's," he said. "It is certainly a top priority for us.
"We're very comfortable with what our processes are and what our security is at this point."
A man wanted over the sexual assault of a woman and several armed robberies in Melbourne rammed a police car to escape arrest, police say. Thomas Weldon, 18, of Fitzroy, is believed to be responsible for seven armed robberies since March and an attack on a woman in inner city Melbourne on Wednesday night.
He allegedly threatened the woman with a knife before assaulting her and forcing her into his car on Leicester Street in Carlton about 10pm (AEST).
He drove her to another location where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted. He then drove her to an ATM and forced her to withdraw money before dropping her off at a nearby convenience store. A Victoria Police spokeswoman said Weldon had been identified through security footage.
Police spotted Weldon's car at Nicholson Street in Abbotsford at 1am on Friday and began setting up a cordon around his vehicle in preparation to make an arrest. "(Weldon has) come out, he's seen them, he's rammed the police vehicle and made an escape," the spokeswoman said. No police officers were hurt, she said. Police are appealing for public assistance to locate Weldon.
He was driving a fawn-coloured Mitsubishi Magna sedan, registration number OUO810.
Anyone who sees Weldon should not approach him, but call triple-0.
POLICE fear a cunning knife bandit believed to have struck eight times in the Melbourne CBD last week, leaving two victims tied up, could continue his spree until caught.
A man dubbed the Big Nose Bandit because of his distinctive large nose is being hunted over the robberies, all committed at businesses within the eastern side of the CBD since Monday. On two occasions the man, aged about 30 with a bald head and a cool demeanor, caught a taxi to Brunswick St, Fitzroy, after offending. It is believed he has netted more than $10,000 from hotels, convenience stores and restaurants over five days.
The spree began at 2.45am on April 26 when the bandit entered a Russell St hotel wearing a beanie, produced a knife and jumped the counter to steal $2000. The following night he struck a hotel in Little Bourke St before hitting a newsagency and a convenience store in Collins St, an Asian restaurant in Russell St and a hotel on Little Bourke St. In his latest attacks early this morning, the Big Nose Bandit, identified by witnesses as having an unusally large nose bridge, robbed a hotel in Market St, stealing money from a safe and leaving two staff members tied up with phone cords while he ransacked their office. It is believed he then robbed a Subway restaurant in Exhibition St.
Police obtained a picture of the bandit from a taxi that ferried him to Brunswick St from one of the crime scenes.
Detective Snr Constable Scott Bilston said the bandit, who on one occasion stole a CCTV recording hard-drive from the convenience store he was robbing, had "done his homework". "He has put quite a lot of thought into it,'' he said. "The areas that he has targeted have avoided a lot of the safe street cameras.
"We are hoping witnesses with information will come forward.''
The bandit is described as a Caucasian male aged about 30, thin, is 175cm tall with a bald head and quite a distinctive large nose. On at least one occasion he has sprayed cooking oil over a crime scene to cover his tracks. CBD businesses that operate through the night have been put on alert as the bandit is expected to hit again soon.