Armed bandits images released
COMPUTER-generated images of three assailants suspected of a violent home invasion at Barkers Vale on Australia Day have been released by investigators.
In January, five armed bandits terrorised three defenceless Barkers Vale residents, including an 85-year-old woman suffering dementia, during a frightening home invasion before escaping with cash, electrical goods and property.
The bandits burst in demanding money and drugs, which the residents did not have, threatening to return the following month for more cash.
One resident was beaten over the head with the butt of a handgun before another balaclava-clad bandit held a machete to his throat and demanded money.
His elderly mother was woken by the furore and had to be placated.
“She kept trying to come out of her bedroom during the robbery, but we kept telling her to stay in her room,” her son said at the time.
“I said, ‘Mum we are being robbed. Stay in your room’.
“They seemed to know exactly what they were doing and I was frightened of what they could have done to mum.”
Another resident was made to lie on the floor with a gun pointed at his head and a machete held to the back of his neck.
The armed thugs robbed the trio of their most valuable possessions before escaping shortly before midday in a car described as purple station wagon with a dent in the rear passenger-side door.
Local residents in the peaceful, close-knit community were horrified by the incident and banded together to support the victims.
Four of the five suspects were described by police at the time as being of Caucasian appearance. They were each described as: 30 to 35 years old, 180 centimetres tall wearing a black, short-sleeved T-shirt and carrying a black handgun; 18 to 22 years old, skinny build, olive complexion, short fair hair, wearing white shorts, no shirt and a balaclava; 16 to 17 years old, short dark hair, white shorts with a skinny build; and 180 centimetres tall, medium build of undetermined age.
Anyone with informationis urged to contact Ballina detectives on 6681 8699 or Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.