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Six charged following investigations into graffiti attacks across Sydney rail network

Friday, 30 July 2021 09:24:24 AM

Police have charged six people following an investigation into significant graffiti damage of trains, rail carriages and infrastructure across the Sydney rail network.

In May 2021, officers attached to the Police Transport and Public Safety Command’s Proactive Crime Team North/Central established Strike Force Wolstoneholme to investigate eight property damage offences between February and July this year across the Sydney rail network.

Following extensive investigations, officers executed five search warrants at homes at Marrickville, Ultimo, Petersham and Redfern yesterday (Thursday 29 July 2021).

Officers were assisted throughout the operation by the Dog and Mounted Unit, Redfern Region Enforcement Squad (RES) and Central Metropolitan Region Operations Support Group (OSG).

During the searches, investigators seized a large quantity of luxury designer clothing valued at $30,000 and two watches valued at $18,000.

Officers also seized 97 spray cans, bolt cutters, a crowbar, clothing, 170g of MDMA and cannabis.

A sophisticated hydroponic set-up was located at the Ultimo unit and nine mature cannabis plants were also seized.

All items will undergo further examination.

During the operation, police arrested six people – five men and a woman – who were taken to local police stations.

A 29-year-old Marrickville man was charged with 23 offences, including;

  • Destroy or damage property – between $2000 and $5000 (x4),
  • destroy or damage property (x2),
  • destroy/damage property in company (between $2000 and $5000),
  • destroy/damage property in company,
  • go onto or into or remain on or in running lines (x8),
  • not comply with noticed direction re s 7/8/9 – COVID-19 (x2)
  • deal with property proceeds of crime,
  • armed with intent commit indictable offence (x2),
  • supply prohibited drug (commercial quantity), and,
  • goods suspected stolen in/on premises (motor vehicle).

He was refused bail and will appear at Newtown Local Court today (Friday 30 July 2021).

A 22-year-old Redfern man charged with three counts of destroy or damage property, go onto or into or remain on or in running lines, and passenger enter crew compartment of train without permission. He was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Monday 23 August 2021.

A 39-year-old Ultimo man was charged with cultivate prohibited plant, owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises, and enhanced indoor cultivation plant for commercial purpose.

A 33-year-old Ultimo man was charged with possess prohibited drug, owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises, and enhanced indoor cultivation plant for commercial purpose.

Both men were refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today.

A 34-year-old Ultimo woman was charged with enhanced indoor cultivation plant for commercial purpose, and owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises. She was granted strict conditional bail and will appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday 5 October 2021.

A 28-year-old Petersham man was taken to Newtown Police Station and charged with go onto or into or remain on or in running lines, destroy or damage property, and two counts possess prohibited drug. He was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Friday 20 August 2021.

Police Transport Command North/Central Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Todd Cunningham said officers have conducted an extensive and thorough investigation into the activities of this group.

“These individuals are alleged to have caused significant damage to trains, rail carriages and infrastructure across the Sydney rail network by spray painting graffiti tags and murals on government property,” Det A/Supt Cunningham said.

“These acts are reckless, dangerous and simply unnecessary. They put lives at risk by entering secured areas and also cost thousands of dollars in damages.

“Following our investigations, police not only located a substantial number of tools and spray cans allegedly used in the offences, they also seized a commercial quantity of MDMA and uncovered sophisticated hydroponic cannabis set-up.

“It is clear that the activities of this group extend well beyond graffiti offences and investigations will continue,” Det A/Supt Cunningham said.