Stolen cars linked to Coles robbery

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SIX cars stolen from a Mentone car yard after hours, Tuesday 22 November, may have been used by thieves to later steal up to $60,000 from a Mentone supermarket.

The cars were stolen from James Michael of Mentone, Nepean Highway, after a chain was cut and offenders jemmied open a metal framed door to enter the office area. Here, they allegedly stole six sets of keys and drove the cars – including a BMW and a Mercedes – away.

In the early hours of Wednesday 23 November, a staff member at the Coles supermarket in Mentone Pde alerted police after he heard offenders jemmying open the automatic doors to the store. Kingston CIU detectives say two offenders stole four cash cartridges from the self-service area using jemmy bars and a battery-powered angle grinder around 1.53am. They were gone within minutes.

At 4.37am, units from Moorabbin fire brigade and Dingley CFA attended and found the severely-damaged car beside a burnt-out Mercedes at Elm Tree Drive, Dingley Village.

In the afternoon, police “blocked in” a Holden utility in the car park at Carrum Downs reserve, Wedge Rd, to prevent it being driven off. Searching the driver, and a passenger who they allege ran from the car, they allegedly found $17,000 cash, tools and clothing similar to that involved in the theft of cars at Mentone the day before.

A BMW parked next to the utility was identified as being stolen from the car yard.

The driver of the utility was interviewed and released pending summons. Another man, 23, of Carrum Downs, has been charged with burglary and remanded to appear at Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court, Tuesday 13 December.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 30 November 2016

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