MORE arrests follow the alleged carjacking of a 2008 Ford XR6 sedan in Bartlett St, Frankston South, 2.40am, Friday 6 November.
A Keysborough youth, 17, and Springvale South man, 21, were charged last week. Earlier, a 15 year old, of Patterson Lakes, was arrested and charged with car theft, as well as serious driving offences.
The pair was allegedly among a group of up to five men in a stolen BMW X5 which rammed the car, being driven by a 20-year-old man, and then threatened him with a shotgun and a handgun before stealing it.
The group then drove off in the two cars, with the BMW involved in a fatal collision, Monday 9 November, in Mordialloc.
The Keysborough youth was arrested at his home, Tuesday, and charged with armed robbery, assault and theft of motor cars. He was remanded in custody to appear at Dandenong Children’s Court on 11 December. The 21 year old was charged with armed robbery, assault, three counts of theft of motor car, possess drug of dependence and other related offences. He was remanded to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today (Monday). Both were arrested by Frankston Embona taskforce detectives and the Dog Squad.
The Ford, with original registration plates SAM 95, has not been recovered.
The pair is among several people police would like to talk to in relation to a spate of recent crimes and car thefts, Detective Senior Constable Marty O’Brien, of the Embona Armed Robbery Task Force, said.
Another teenager, 18, of Endeavour Hills, was arrested the previous week at a house in Gweno Av, Frankston, over the carjacking and theft of the BMW – stolen from a house in Doncaster earlier in the month – and charged with similar offences.
Both are suspected of being members of the Apex gang, whose members have been involved in crime sprees throughout the south-eastern suburbs.
Police bemoan the “enormous number of offences” being committed by various crime gangs – not just Apex. They say recent arrests have “upset the momentum” but that other gang members will probably “step up” to fill the void.
“I am glad we have interrupted them; we have made big inroads on the local front,” Detective O’Brien said.
The rise and prominence of youth crime gangs, perhaps with as many as 60 members often linked through cultural ties, is weighing heavily on police.
“They gather along tribal and cultural lines but they don’t respect their real culture,” Detective O’Brien said.
“A number of intervention programs have been attempted but these have failed to curb their criminal activities.
“I plead with the parents of these youths to scrutinise their behaviour and associations.”
The joining of Maori and Sudanese gangs on crime sprees over the past 12 months is of special concern.
So is the apparent realisation, especially by Islander gangs, that they can use their physical size and weight to intimidate local youths.
“We are getting to the stage where local youths won’t walk down the streets of Frankston anymore because they fear trouble.” Detective O’Brien said.