POLICE have recovered “almost all” of the guns stolen in a robbery on a Beckenham gun store last week.
More than 100 guns were stolen, and an 81-year-old staff member was abducted, from Barry & Son Firearms last Wednesday.
WA Police’s Taskforce Newstead, with the help of specialist units including the Tactical Response Group, executed search warrants at residences in Seville Grove, Cloverdale, Wilson, Malaga and Midland, and at a storage unit in Forrestdale yesterday.
The vehicle involved in the incident was located at the search warrant in Manning Road, Wilson, and the firearms were recovered from the storage unit on Eddison Circuit in Forrestdale.
Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch said the guns were found in large lock boxes during a search warrant conducted late last night to early this morning.
“We believe we’ve got almost all of them, there is an indication one may be outstanding,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Blanch said the investigation was ongoing as Taskforce Newstead worked to establish whether a broader criminal syndicate was involved.
“The recovery of the stolen firearms has been a high priority for WA Police Force,” he said.
“It was only a matter of time before the firearms would have made it onto the black market and into the hands of people who could have caused great harm to the community.
“Lastly, it is important we don’t forget the victim in this matter – an 81-year-old man who was going about his own lawful business.
“Barry had done everything he could to secure his store, and has assisted WA Police Force throughout this investigation.
“His ability to remain calm in what would have been a terrifying ordeal is a credit to him, and I thank him for the way in which he has worked with our detectives to progress this investigation.”
A 23-year-old man from Seville Grove, who was arrested near the storage unit in Forrestdale, has been charged with deprivation of liberty, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and stealing.
He was due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court today but due to ongoing operational matters, he is to appear tomorrow morning.
Deputy Commissioner Blanch said WA police were working with Commonwealth and international agencies to track the other man involved, believed to have left the country on September 8.
“We don’t know what country he’s in at the moment,” he said.
“He took a flight and stopped at Doha, but I’m assuming he’s gone off further than that.”
The investigation is ongoing.