Police operation nets 57 youths

By Tate Papworth

Police arrested 57 people as part of an operation to crack down on youth offending last week.

The statewide operation, dubbed Operation Liege, involved detectives from all policing regions.

Warrants were executed across Melbourne suburbs including Sunshine, Truganina, Cranbourne, Frankston, Pakenham, Reservoir and Dandenong.

Fifty-seven people were arrested and multiple charges were laid for offences including carjacking, aggravated burglary, robbery and vehicle crime linked to serious offending.

The majority of those arrested were aged between 15 and 21 years-old.

North West Metro Region Commander Tim Hansen said Operation Liege was established in July to disrupt high-harm, high-impact youth offending.

“Detectives from across the state have shared intelligence to identify a priority list of people wanted by police on outstanding warrants or for other matters and ensured they were brought into custody,” he said.

“Those targeted through this operation are alleged to have committed offences which caused significant harm to victims and have a substantial impact on the broader community’s feelings of safety.

“These crimes include carjackings, aggravated burglaries, armed robbery
and serious street robberies – all horrendous crimes which leave a long-lasting impact on victims.”

The operation follows another statewide investigation through Taskforce Burns into a series of group thefts at retail, electronic and telecommunications stores across the state between July and September.

Detectives charged 34 offenders aged between 13 and 19 years-old with more than 150 offences including robbery and shop steal during that operation, including two teens charged with stealing from a Highpoint retail store.

Maribyrnong criminal investigation unit’s Detective Senior Constable David Clarke said a number of offenders entered the Nike store at Highpoint shopping centre on September 23, suddenly fleeing with a range of clothing.

“As a result of public assistance, we’ve been able to arrest and remand two teenage males, 16 and 15 years of age,” he said.

“We wish to thank our community for their assistance and assure the public we do everything possible to make sure offenders are held to account – regardless of age.”

Both teens have been remanded to appear in Melbourne Children’s Court.

“Officers right across Victoria are working hard every day to keep the community safe by holding offenders to account and prevent youth-related crime,” Commander Hansen said.

“At a local level police proactively manage bail compliance of high-risk persons of interest and work with partner agencies to help them become engaged in their community through education and employment.”

The operation remains ongoing.