Police pounce as armed robbers flee

HEAVILY armed police arrested four men believed to be responsible for a series of armed robberies on the Coffs Coast on Sunday night in a siege at a Port Macquarie bowling club.

Police pounced as the men attempted to flee the scene of the robbery about 10.20pm at the North Haven club.

Five men armed with knives, a hammer and sticks smashed their way inside the club and once inside tied-up the three staff members and one security guard before ransacking an office area.

When they attempted to escape, they were confronted by heavily armed officers from the State Protection Support Group who had contained the area.

One of the offenders was arrested, another escaped on foot, while the other three retreated into the club. They surrendered to police shortly after. The staff were released and found to be uninjured.

A short time later, highway patrol police spotted a stolen car with the fifth offender inside.

They commenced a pursuit which led to the Pacific Highway, where road spikes were deployed.

The car was disabled and the man ran into dense bushland.

Police searched the area with the assistance of the dog squad but the man was not found.

Investigators from Operation Marquet have charged the other four men from Kempsey, aged 19, 21, 23 and 26, with armed robbery.

They were refused bail and were due to appear at Port Macquarie Local Court late yesterday.

Operation Marquet was formed by police from the Mid North Coast Local Area Command following a number of similar armed robberies on the north coast and in the New England.

  • A FORD Laser parked in Northside Lane in Park Beach was broken into over the weekend.

Some time over Saturday night and Sunday morning, people have gained entry to the car, taking a small amount of cash and a fishing rod and reel.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Coffs Harbour Police on 6652 0299 or Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.

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