ATM gas attacks: Wollongong men charged

The NAB teller machine was blown up on February 2. Picture: DAVE TEASETwo Wollongong men have been charged today over a series of gas attacks on ATMs across the state.Detectives swooped on a unit in Gipps St, Wollongong at 6.30am today as part of coordinated raids on 10 properties in Wollongong, Sydney and the Central Coast.The police operation follows 13 separate attacks on ATMs, including one at a NAB teller machine at Warrawong on February 2. SLIDESHOW: NAB ATM blown up at WarrawongSix men are together facing almost 140 criminal charges after today’s arrests.A 30-year-old Wollongong man, who was arrested today at Mt Annan, has been charged with 46 offences including aggravated breaking and entering, malicious damage by explosion, stealing, driving and being carried in a conveyance, and participating in a criminal group.A 20-year-old Wollongong man, who was arrested at Campbelltown, was charged with 35 offences including aggravated breaking and entering, malicious damage by explosion, stealing, driving and being carried in a conveyance, and participating in criminal group.Both Wollongong men were refused police bail and will appear in court today.Also facing charges over the ATM attacks are a 35-year-old Neutral Bay man, a 25-year-old man at Kearns man, and a 30-year-old Woy Woy man.Strike Force Piccadilly II was established in 2007 to investigate ram-raid style offences involving ATMs, and police said today’s raid was the largest arrest operation undertaken by the strike force.About 80 police officers from the State Crime Command, metropolitan regions, the Public Order Riot Squad, Rescue Squad, and the Special Services Group executed search warrants.A number of items were also seized by police during the search warrants, including a quantity of drugs, cash and other items allegedly connected to the gas attacks, as well as a number of vehicles.
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