WITH yet another police pursuit overnight involving a stolen vehicle, senior Tamworth police have said they are working hard to identify and arrest a group they say are putting lives at risk.
Oxley acting crime manager Geoff Sharp said yesterday police believed a large, active group of youths in the Tamworth area were responsible for the wave of stolen vehicle and brea- and-enter crimes that have dominated police time this week.
“This group is actively looking to commit these crimes and steal vehicles for their own thrill-seeking pleasure,” Sergeant Sharp said.
“It’s not a typical week, but police are working hard to investigate these crimes.”
A home in Southview St was broken into just after 1am yesterday with the offenders forcing a door lock on the ground floor.
The keys to a silver Holden Commodore were taken and the unregistered vehicle stolen from the property while the occupants slept.
A short time later, police attempted to pull the Commodore over on Duri Rd, but the vehicle took off.
Police pursued the vehicle for several minutes in South Tamworth, at speeds of up to 90km/h before abruptly ending when the vehicle hit a large gravel patch in Bylong St.
Two offenders ran away from the vehicle into the grounds of the Longyard Golf Course and were pursued by police but were unable to be found.
The incident makes it the third night in a row Tamworth residents have woken up to police sirens and news of more break-ins, with seven cars stolen, five homes broken into, three police pursuits and two burnt out vehicles reported on Monday and Tuesday nights.
The region’s Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Pete McMenamin said the number of police pursuits in Tamworth this week was higher than average, but more concerning to police was the manner in which the cars are coming to the attention of police.
“Four or five over a few days is more than we expect, but the significant issue here is the cars are being taken as a result of break and enters,” Sergeant McMenamin said.
He said police were working together to solve the latest wave of incidents, but also needed the community’s help.
“We stop the break and enters, we stop the stolen vehicles.”
He said police were bound by strict guidelines when engaging in pursuits, and the safety of the public, police and the suspects was a significant issue.
“Effectively what police do is try to manage the whole situation in the safest way possible,” Sergeant McMenamin said.
“There are ongoing risk assessments – at any time the police can pull stumps and call the pursuit off.”
Two pursuits were called off due to dangerous driving and high speeds on Tuesday night, with speeds up to 130km/h reported by pursuing officers.
Sergeant Sharp said the community could be assured Tamworth police were working hard to solve the incidents with two arrests this week in relation to the offences.
“Two men were arrested on Tuesday for outstanding warrants and we’ve also identified a number of offenders,” he said.