Strike Force Baste is a joint operation by officers from Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens-Hunter, Hunter Valley, and Newcastle City police districts that was established following a number of homes were broken into and luxury vehicles stolen.
The cars were often allegedly then used in additional property offences and police pursuits.
Police will allege social media platforms were used by the youths to coordinate their actions, locate the vehicles, and live-stream the pursuits.
Following investigations, a three-day operation was held from Monday 21 November to Wednesday 23 November 2022 across four police districts in the Northern Region.
Thirteen youths were arrested during the operation and were taken to Belmont, Waratah and Cessnock police stations.
They were charged with a total of 37 offences; including:
• Aggravated break and enter, commit serious indictable offence;
• Aggravated break and enter dwelling in company steal less than or equal to $60,000;
• Take and drive conveyance without consent of owner;
• Drive recklessly/furiously/speed/manner dangerous;
• Possess car breaking implements;
• Knowingly direct activities of criminal group; and
• Breach of bail.
The teens were all bail refused and appeared before a children’s court yesterday (Thursday 24 November 2022).
Anyone with information which may assist Strike Force Baste investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.
WHEN: 11am TODAY (Friday 25 November 2022)
WHERE: Belmont Police Station
2 Herbert St, Belmont NSW 2280
WHO: Acting Superintendent Steven Benson
Commander, Lake Macquarie Police District