Police Beat: March 15 2024

Leading Senior Constable, Kim Kell from the Wellington Proactive Unit with a little Junior Constable showing off their ride in Yarram.

Looking for witnesses

SALE Police are seeking witnesses who may have any information or dashcam footage in regards to an alleged theft of a motor vehicle, a 2012 White Mercedes Benz Vito Van.

Police say the vehicle was stolen from Princes Highway, Fulham between 8.30pm on February 15, and 6am on February 16 2024.

If you were in the area at the time and may have dashcam footage, phone Sale Police on 5142 2200 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Justin is missing

Justin, 14, was last seen leaving his residence in Sale on March 7. Contact Sale Police if you have information of his whereabouts. Photo: Contributed

SALE teenager Justin was last seen leaving his residence in Sale around 6pm on Friday, March 1 2024.

Justin is 14-years-old, approximately 172cm tall with a thin build and long hair.

He was last seen wearing a blue hoodie and black track pants.

Justin’s disappearance was originally flagged by a Wellington Police Facebook post on Thursday, March 7. Police confirmed to the Gippsland Times on Wednesday, March 13 that Justin was still missing.

Police and family have concerns for his welfare.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact Sale Police Station (03) 5142 2200.

VIPER seizes

A KORUMBURRA tobacco store has been searched, and officers from the VIPER Taskforce charged a man on Monday night (March 11) as part of an investigation into the alleged sale of illicit tobacco in Victoria.

Three search warrants were executed at two tobacco stores in Korumburra and Highett and a residential address in Hoppers Crossing on Monday afternoon.

A Hoppers Crossing man, 48, was charged with 16 counts of possess tobacco products with intent to defraud, three counts of possess schedule four poison and deal property suspected to be proceeds of crime. He was remanded to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in June.

More than 93,000 cigarettes, over $90,000 cash and a small quantity of e-cigarettes were located at the residential address.

Almost 30,000 cigarette sticks (with a duty excise of over $72,000), around six kilograms of loose-leaf tobacco and a quantity of e-cigarettes were seized from a tobacconist on Commercial Street in Korumburra.

A further 20,000 cigarette sticks, and various quantities of loose-leaf tobacco and e cigarettes were seized from a tobacco store in Highett.

Investigators are looking into a range of motivations for these fires and links to a range of organised crime syndicates.

Police are also working closely with a range of state and federal agencies including the ABF and AFP as part of this investigation in order to disrupt the syndicates involved.

Police said the community, particularly tobacco store owners and staff, are a crucial part of their ability to stop these incidents before innocent people are killed or seriously injured.

Anyone with information on organised crime activity linked to illicit tobacco is urged to phone Crime Stoppers or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

Detective Inspector, Craig Darlow of VIPER Taskforce said police will continue relentlessly working until they get all the way to the top of these organised crime groups.

“To that end, we implore any store owners who have information about illicit tobacco or the syndicates involved to provide that information to us. It can be done anonymously,” he said.

Kids day out with the cops

AS part of Parks Week, Wellington Shire Council held the Kids Day Out event in Memorial Park, Yarram on Wednesday, March 6,

The Wellington Proactive Unit joined in on the fun in the park with Mini Police toys.

Many of the local primary schools attended to participate in activities such as a jumping castle, face painting, games and singing with Fairy Julianne.

The Bean Pedlar owner Robert Drakeford with Stark the Dog. Photos: Contributed

There was also some four-legged friends – one being the German Shepherd Puppy ‘Stark’ who is the son of a former police dog. Stark was so comfortable and relaxed in the reflective vest that his owner Robert from the Bean Pedlar put on him. Casper the Pony also joined in on the wearing of a police cap.