Police raid homes for gun theft investigation

Picture: WA Police
Picture: WA Police

POLICE have raided homes in their investigation of a firearms theft at a Beckenham gun shop, where an elderly man was abducted.

Police executed search warrants in Maddington, Spearwood and Calista as part of Operation Newstead, to investigate the theft of firearms from Barry & Son Firearms on Sunday.

Nearly 100 handguns and ammunition were stolen from Barry & Son Firearms on Clapham Street on Wednesday night.

Police have released CCTV footage and composite images of the suspected robbers and van involved.

WA Police confirmed the Regional Investigations Unit was investigating the robbery, which happened between 7pm and 7.45pm.

Police said an 81-year-old man, who was the key operator of the business, was cable tied and abducted to be taken back to the premises after he left locked up the shop.

The men involved allegedly rammed into the elderly man’s car and forced him to open an armoury full of weapons, held him captive as they raided the store.

“While stationary at the intersection of Albany Highway and Austin Avenue in Beckenham his vehicle was struck from behind by a white van,” police said in a statement.

“Both vehicles stopped around the corner from the crash location, and at this time the victim was kidnapped and placed in the rear of the van. The victim, who was restrained, was unable to escape.

“The victim was driven to the store where two men involved in the incident, stole a large number of firearms and an amount of ammunition.”

Police have released composite images of the offender and the van involved, which police believe is an old ambulance with a distinctive bull bar.

Police have released composite images of the suspected robber and van. Picture: WA Police

Police were alerted to the incident about 8pm when a hold-up alarm was activated.

The 81-year-old man was taken to hospital as precaution but suffered no serious injuries despite being held against his will for about 40 minutes.

The van is believed to be a Mercedes Sprinter or similar, and had registration ‘PH 10279’.

Police believe the number plates were stolen from a vehicle earlier in the day, and it is likely they are no longer on the van.

It is the second time the store has been targeted as 174 guns were stolen in March 2017 with about 14 found by police in the possession of bikies.

Investigators released another composite image of a man they wish to speak to. Picture: WA Police

Investigators also released another composite image of a man they wish to speak to.

Anyone with dash cam footage near Clapham Street, Albany Highway and Kenwick link at about the time of the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or WA Police on 131 444.

Any evidence relating to the incident can be uploaded to WA Police here.