POLICE | Tobacco worth $1.5m seized, thief armed with cleaver, driver on phone at RBT stop, and other news of the week

Generic image. Picture: NSW Police
Generic image. Picture: NSW Police

A large-scale investigation is under way after police officers attached to StrikeForceRaptor confiscated $1.5 million worth of tobacco at Fairfield last week.

Strike Force Raptor detectives, attached to the State Crime Command's Criminal Groups Squad, searched an industrial unit on Fairfield Street about 5pm on Tuesday last week, August 13.

During the search, the police officers found 73 cardboard packing cartons which contained tobacco that weighed a total of nearly 1.5 tonnes. The tobacco was seized for further analysis.

Inquiries are continuing and no arrests have been made at this point. Strike Force Raptor was established in 2009 to conduct proactive investigations and intelligence-based high-impact policing operations. Their focus is the prevention and disruption of conflicts and the dismantling of highly-organised criminal networks.

Thief armed with meat cleaver

A man was due in Fairfield court last Thursday charged over an alleged armed robbery at a Pendle Hill tobacco store, after an investigating off-duty officer recognised him walking down the street.

Just after 5pm last Tuesday, Cumberland police were called to a tobacco shop on Pendle Way, over an armed robbery. Police say a man entered the shop armed with a meat cleaver, demanded money and cigarettes from the male staff member and ran away. There were no reports of injuries.

About 5pm the next day, an off-duty constable from Cumberland's Proactive Crime Team was walking along Newman Street at Merrylands and recognised the man from security images.

He called other officers and soon after, a man, 39, was arrested and taken to Granville police station.

A house was searched on Chetwynd Road at Merrylands and clothing was seized. The man was charged with robbery while armed with a weapon and refused bail to be in Fairfield court last Thursday.

Driver sorry for using his phone

At 2.15pm on August 13, Fairfield police were conducting stationary random breath-testing on The Horsley Drive at Fairfield.

As a blue Mazda Tribute approached the RBT site, officers saw the driver using his phone. The driver, a Smithfield man, 49, recorded a negative breath test and was warned in regards to the use of using a hand-held phone.

Despite this, he picked up the phone from the vacant passenger's seat and continued with his conversation while leaving the RBT site. He was fined $344. "I'm sorry," he said.

Weapons during an argument

At 8.30pm on August 14, a CanleyHeights man, 30, got out of his car at the intersection of the Cumberland Highway and St Johns Road at Canley Heights holding a machete and a crowbar and approached two men with whom he'd argued earlier.

There was another argument between the three people and the Canley Heights man drove away. Fairfield police arrested him a short time later on a nearby street.

He was charged with causing an affray and being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence.

The man is due to appear in Liverpool court on September 11.

Drugs found on a Cabramatta man

At 1am last Sunday, August 18, Fairfield police went to a licensed premises at CanleyVale and arrested a Cabramatta man, 33, for two outstanding court warrants.

He was searched and officers found methylamphetamine and heroin on him. Bail was refused and he's due in Fairfield court on Wednesday, August 21.

Driver already banned to 2027

At 5pm on Saturday, August 10, Fairfield police stopped a car on Townview Road at MountPritchard. The driver, a Mount Pritchard man, 44, admitted to being unlicensed. Checks revealed he'd been disqualified from driving until May 2027.

He was charged again for disqualified driving and he's due in Liverpool court next Wednesday, August 28.