Firefighters feared someone was inside a burning Springvale home as they fought the suspicious blaze on Sunday 28 August.
Crews in two Springvale Fire Brigade trucks arrived at the Heatherton Road single-storey home about 8.25pm and found it fully alight.
They had to manage asbestos they found in the house during the fight but controlled the blaze by 9.15pm.
District 8 rostered duty officer Paul Carrigg said firefighters also had to thoroughly search the home to make sure no one was inside.
“There was some conflicting information about whether or not someone was home at the time, so firefighters did a great job ensuring the property was vacant,” he said.
Greater Dandenong CIU Detective Senior Constable Tony Lavars said the fire completely destroyed the house.
He urged anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
FOUR teenagers have been caught by police and one charged over a series of serious ‘Apex’ style offences.
The teens, aged from 14 to 18 years old were tracked down at a Berwick address on Michelle Drive.
Two males and two females were arrested on Thursday 26 August around 12.20pm.
Police allegedly seized a stolen Holden HSV sedan at the address, along with a huge amount of alleged stolen goods.
Mobile phones, iPads, jewellery, wallets, personal documents, power tools and clothes were also seized by police from the address.
One of the four teenagers, a 17-year-old male, was charged with aggravated burglary, several driving offences, breaking bail and an intervention order.
He has been remanded in custody to face the children’s court.
His accomplices aged 18, 15 and 14 have been released pending summons.
A WOMAN has fought off an intruder using the offender’s own weapon – a plank of wood.
The victim aged in her twenties pushed and shoved the male intruder and lunged to grab the timber.
Her actions helped to scare off the offender, who then fled the scene on foot.
The aggravated home invasion occurred on Sunday 28 August, around 4.15pm on Yorkshire Drive Cranbourne North.
The male confronted the woman who was home alone at the time of the break-in, in the bedroom, and demanded keys to her car and cash.
The female victim said she had neither to give him and wrestled with him for a short while.
The male intruder ran south on Yorkshire Drive and the victim told police she saw a woman waiting outside for the male. The pair ran away.
Anyone with information on the brazen home invasion is urged to call Narre Warren Police on 9705 3111.
Councillors launch counter attack over plans to close station…
Casey councillors are outraged over a trial closure of Endeavour Hills police station’s front counter on weekend nights.
Once touted as a 24/7 police station, the station will be closed to the public at 5pm rather than 11pm on weekends, but police patrols on those nights will be increased.
Councillor Louise Berkelmans, who heads the council’s community safety committee, said the “desperate” move showed that police resources were stretched thin in Casey.
“They are so desperate to get more police on the streets in Casey. They’ve got to the point they have not got a choice.”
Councillor Rafal Kaplon said: “How much can you continually rejig existing resources?”
He said the council had repeatedly lobbied for the State Government to increase police numbers due to crime rates soaring by 19 per cent in the past year.
According to Crime Statistics Agency figures, crime rose in Endeavour Hills in 2015-’16 by 45 per cent, Doveton by 22 per cent and Hallam by 11 per cent.
Full-time equivalent police positions stationed in Casey are two less than in November 2014 – when the State Government took office.
Police said a review found low numbers of public attendances and phone calls to Endeavour Hills station, particularly on weekends.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said the trial was about getting “more police on the road” to respond to calls and proactively prevent crime.
“The trial will see additional police patrolling on weekends for longer, not less.
“As the Chief Commissioner has clearly stated, he’d rather see police working out in the community instead of filling out paperwork behind a counter.”
Acting Senior Sergeant Carolyn Hill, of Endeavour Hills police, said most people who attended the station required documents to be signed.
“There’s still a counter service available to sign documents on weekdays and weekend days, as well as (on weekend nights) at Dandenong and Narre Warren stations.
“The whole community is getting a better service with that extra police resource on the road.”
Opposition police spokesman Edward O’Donohue said Victorians were “rightly concerned” by the “out of control” spate of carjackings, home invasions, drive-by shootings and gang violence, he said.
“When will Daniel Andrews acknowledge there is a frontline police numbers crisis in Casey and across Victoria before further stations have to close or have their opening hours cut?”
The station’s weekday public opening hours of 7am to 11pm are unchanged.
During times when the station’s counter is closed, phone calls will be diverted to Narre Warren police station’s 24-hour counter service.
For urgent police assistance, the public is advised to call triple zero.
Police say the trial will be evaluated at the end of the year.
A SPECIAL ceremony will take place on Sunday morning to unveil memorial stones in honour of Australian service personnel.
Pakenham RSL plans to erect seven stones beside the Pakenham cenotaph over two stages in recognition of those who have served or fought overseas since World War II.
The first three stones represent the Korea, Malaya and Indonesia (Far East Strategic Reserve), and Vietnam wars, while the remainder expect to be installed by late next year to honour those who served in peace keeping efforts in Somalia, East Timor and Iran, and in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The line of stones will serve as a commemorative walk for service personnel, their families and the general public to pay their respects.
The unveiling ceremony will take place at 11.30am on Sunday 28 August at the Pakenham cenotaph, with guest speaker military historian Marcus Fielding and speeches from Australian war veterans from each of the three conflicts.
Lunch and refreshments will be served following the ceremony at the Pakenham RSL Hall, corner James Street and Snodgrass Street, Pakenham.