With assistance from Mill Park Serious Crime Taskforce, the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force, police have arrested nine males since 19 October, executing ten search warrants in Melbourne’s north and arresting four at Melbourne Airport.
Five have been charged with murder and kidnapping, including:
* A 17-year-old boy who was arrested at Melbourne Airport on 26 October;
* A 17-year-old boy who was arrested at Melbourne Airport on 1 November;
* A 19-year-old Preston man who was arrested on 2 November. He was remanded to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 20 January, 2023;
* A 17-year-old boy who was arrested on 3 November, and;
* A 17-year-old boy who was arrested at Melbourne airport last night, Tuesday 15 November.
Those under the age of 18 will appear at a children’s court at a later date.
Three others were charged with kidnapping, including:
* An 18-year-old Heidelberg West man who was arrested at Melbourne Airport on 19 October. He was remanded to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 12 January, 2023;
* A 16-year-old boy who was arrested on 3 November. He will appear at a children’s court at a later date, and;
* An 18-year-old Bundoora man who was arrested on 8 November. He was bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 1 March, 2023.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested on 2 November but released pending further enquiries.
The charges follow an incident on Sunday, 16 October in Heidelberg West where a man was fatally assaulted and stabbed.
Emergency services were called to North Crescent just after 3.30pm after reports of an assault.
Police will allege that up to ten offenders in two vehicles arrived at the property shortly after 3.30pm, before fatally assaulting a 25-year-old Thomastown man.
The offenders then fled in one vehicle, and a 20-year-old Reservoir man, the victim of an alleged earlier kidnapping, was located inside the remaining vehicle.
The 25-year-old Thomastown man was worked on by paramedics but died at the scene.
The investigation into the incident remains ongoing and police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or has other information and is yet to speak to police to come forward.
Anyone with further information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
Quotes attributable to Detective Inspector Dean Thomas, Homicide Squad:
“I know many will be horrified by the young age of those arrested but let me make this clear – we will be relentless in pursuing anyone responsible for this level of violence and age will be no barrier to that.
“Carrying knives will result in tragic outcomes for all parties concerned and the ramifications are severe and life changing. A young man has senselessly lost his life, and a significant number of families now face a lifetime of grieving.
“A heartbroken family deserves justice, and this is a strong and demonstrable statement that for those choosing to engage in this type of violent and senseless crime, we will be relentless in our pursuit of you.
“It’s critical that those who choose to engage in this kind of violent behaviour understand that they will be identified. Police will ensure that all necessary resources are utilised to identify those responsible and hold them to account.”