Arrests after police foil alleged hotel robbery

The Royal Oak Hotel.FOURmen have been arrested after police allegedly foiled another hotel robbery as the suspects armed themselves and were about to enter the Royal Oak Hotel at Cessnock last night.

Three men, all from Hamilton South, were arrested following a 30-minute police pursuit through the Coalfields.

A fourth man was arrested at Cessnock this morning after allegedly escaping from police following the pursuit.

They have all been charged with the attempted robbery of the Cessnock hotel while one of the men has also been charged over the violent hold-up of the Mary Ellen Hotel at Merewether late last month.

Newcastle City crime manager Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Humphrey said arrestingPolice seized a number of items from the car and located machetes near the Royal Oak Hotel,which appeared to be the same machetes that were used in the Mary Ellen raid.

He said Strike Force Madeira was formed following the Mary Ellen robbery and investigators were able to identify a suspect.

Strike force detectives discovered that another robbery was allegedly being planned on a Newcastle licensed premises on Friday night but wereable to foil it before it took place.

Detective Chief Inspector Humphrey said intensive investigations over the weekend then allegedly uncovered plans for thesuspects to raid another pub, but not the target.

At 11pm last night, the suspects were allegedly seen to put on masks and arm themselves and walk towards the Royal Oak Hotel as it was still trading.

Police attempted to arrest the men but they escaped in a car.

A 30-minute police pursuit continued through the Coalfields until the car was stopped at Gillieston Heights.

Three men were taken into custody.

One man, 19, was later charged with the armed robbery of the Mary Ellen Hotel and the attempted armed robbery of the Royal Oak Hotel.

Two other men, aged 19 and 23, were charged with the Royal Oak Hotel attempted armed robbery.

A fourth suspect, who had allegedly run from police, was arrested at Cessnock this morning.

All men will be refused bail to appear in Maitland Local Court today.


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