A 33-year-old Canberra man currently held in custody will appear in the ACT Magistrates Court tomorrow (Thursday, June 30) charged with a range of serious and violent offences dating back to December 2008.
In the culmination of Operation Laverda, a major investigation which began in July 2010, police will allege that the man, who has been in custody since January 6, was a methodical and well-organised offender who was meticulous in the planning and execution of his felonies.
Among the 19 charges against the man are six counts of aggravated robbery, four of theft, and two of aggravated burglary, as well attempted aggravated robbery, take motor vehicle without consent, money laundering, possessing a prohibited firearm and damage to property.
He will also face arson charges resulting from an attempt to blow open an ATM in Wanniassa on March 12, 2009.
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In a 35-page Statement of Facts to be tendered before the court tomorrow, police will allege the man was responsible for a series of robberies, mostly in Canberra’s southside, at ACT clubs, TABs and other businesses from December 2008 through to October 2010. In several of the incidents, police will allege the man menaced staff and customers with a sawn-off firearm, and during a violent robbery at a southside club in 2008, held a knife to a staff member’s throat.
The firearm used in several of the offences was recovered in the backyard of the offender’s Kambah home during the second of two search warrants on his residence earlier this year.
Operation Laverda encompassed assistance from many areas of ACT Policing and the broader AFP, including Criminal Investigation and Crime Targeting Teams, General Duties, ACT Police Intelligence, Specialist Response and Security (SRS), AFP Forensics, Traffic Operations, Judicial Operations, Victim Liaison Officers and a number of other specialist teams.
Operation Laverda is now shifting its investigative focus to those persons who assisted the offender in concealing the proceeds of his alleged crimes, specifically in relation to the purchase of two vehicles.