Vandals and criminals on the attack

AN OVERNIGHT visit to Port Macquarie has left a bitter taste in the mouth of Tamworth resident Gordon Barnett.

His car, a silver Kia, was attacked and vandalised in a seemingly random attack on Monday night.

It was parked on Hastings River Drive and Mr Barnett was staying in a nearby residence.

Most of the panels on the van were damaged and the back window and front windscreen were smashed.

“I was only meant to be here for one night but I might have to stay here a little longer,” he said.

“I probably won’t get the car back now for a couple of weeks so I’ll have to find another way home.

“There’s not much you can do about these things though I guess.” 

The vehicle was parked about two kilometres away from the Port Macquarie Panthers Sports Club which was the target of three armed robbers on the same night.

In other crime news, two more violent robberies took place in the Hastings on Sunday night just minutes apart.

Despite some similarities in the circumstances of both incidents, police said they did not believe the two are linked.

The first incident happened at the Port Macquarie Panthers Sports Club on Boundary Street at about 9pm, the second at  Neumann’s Petroleum Service Station on High Street at Wauchope at about 9.20pm.

 In the first armed hold up, three men stormed the rear entrance of the club as a security guard entered the premises.

They kicked in a glass panel and were armed with a screw driver and a steel bar.

The three female staff members and the male security guard were threatened and told to get on the ground.

The club’s operations manager Alex Moore said no one was hurt in the attack but the offenders made off with a “significant” amount of cash.

Personal belongings were taken from the staff members including a vehicle which was used as the getaway car.

The maroon Holden Captiva was recovered Monday afternoon from the Sancrox area.

The whole ordeal lasted about two-and-a-half-minutes.

A short time later a 21-year-old male attendant was approached outside the service station as he attempted to close the business for the night.

Three males physically dragged the young man inside before they began to ransack the store.

A significant amount of cash and cigarettes were taken.

The attendant’s mobile phone and wallet were also stolen. Police attended the scene and investigations led them a short time later to an address in Wauchope.

A number of men ran from the scene and a lengthy foot pursuit between officers and units from the dog squad resulted.

Police were unable to take anyone into custody.

At about 11.30pm police stopped a vehicle near Kundabung. Property believed to be from the Wauchope robbery was recovered and a 17-year-old male and a 33-year-old women were arrested.

The teenager was charged with armed robbery, bail was refused and he is to reappear in Port Macquarie Children’s Court on January 7.

The woman was charged with being an accessory after the fact her bail was refused to also reappear in Port Macquarie Local Court on January 7.

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