Street shut as Wodonga police search for guns

Police take a man into custody from a home in Marshall Street yesterday. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL
Police take a man into custody from a home in Marshall Street yesterday. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

A GUN allegedly brandished at a woman in a Wodonga home this week sparked a series of police raids yesterday that caused a street to shut down and heavily armed police to muscle in.

A Wodonga man, 29, was arrested during the raids and was last night charged with ammunition and weapon offences and bailed, while a second “person of interest” is yet to be spoken to.

Wodonga Detective Sgt Graeme Simpfendorfer said it stemmed from an allegation a firearm was produced and used to threaten a woman in a Trudewind Road home on Wednesday.

He said no one was injured in the incident, but the allegation a gun was involved sparked a concerted police response, including special operations group officers from Melbourne.

The unit, distinguished by dark clothing and weaponry, can be called to critical incidents such as sieges and, as in Wodonga’s case, suspected armed offenders.

“It’s fairly usual practice when we start getting information that there’s firearms involved, we take that information, make an assessment of that and it was deemed appropriate,” Sgt Simpfendorfer said.

“It’s safest for police, the public and the people we’re looking for.”

Wodonga’s Marshall Street was shut down yesterday as 20 police officers converged on two homes directly across the road from each other, with a man arrested at one of the properties about 12.30pm.

One neighbour, who didn’t want to be named, spoke of seeing two men carry “four or five” rifle bags into one of the houses just two days before from a utility which was still parked at the front of the house yesterday.

He said moving guns in broad daylight struck him as bizarre.

“Whether you’ve got a licence or not, you just don’t do that,” he said.

“You sort of don’t want to get your nose in that type of thing, it’ll bring you grief more than anything else.”

Other neighbours said police regularly patrolled past one of the houses while another resident said she may sleep easier at night.

“I’ve been nervous at night,” she said.

Soon after the Marshall Street raids, police used warrants to raid an Albert Road house in Chiltern and at the Trudewind Road house where the alleged altercation which sparked the raids occurred.

Sgt Simpfendorfer said ammunition, crossbows, knives and tasers were seized from one of the Marshall Street properties that were searched by police.

He asked anyone who may have heard or saw any part of an altercation at Trudewind Road on Wednesday to phone Wodonga police on (02) 6049 2600.