MORE than 24 hours since Australia’s most wanted father and son duo were last sighted, the extensive search to locate the armed bandits, after they opened fire at Wagga police, has been downsized.
Heavily armed police, including specialist tactical officers from Sydney, were today searching for two of Australia’s most wanted men, after they opened fire at officers near Mangoplah and Henty on Friday.
Father and son Gino and Mark Stocco, who have been on the run for eight years from police in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, allegedly fired shots at police using a “high-powered” rifle from a silver Nissan Navara about 2pm near Henty Road.
A high-speed police chase ensued, was aborted due to safety and then recommenced a short time later on Cheviot Hills Road, where the armed bandits again shot at police.
It triggered a major police operation, with officers advising nearby residents to leave their properties as the armed men were believed to be on foot.
Officers this afternoon located the abandoned vehicle in dense bushland, some 22km from Strike Force Kalkadoon’s command post at the Pulletop and Cheviots Hill roads intersection.
Wagga Superintendent Bob Noble confirmed a number of items had been seized during the search, but could not elaborate on the role they played in the incident.
The operation was downsized as police were confident the duo have fled the area and the command post was relocated back to Wagga police station.
Specialist officers from Sydney were dismissed, but Superintendent Bob Noble reminded residents to remain vigilant.
“I don’t believe residents in the area have any need to be overly concerned about their safety, but I would urge them to be very vigilant about anything that’s out of the ordinary, about their personal and premise security,” Superintendent Noble said.
Anyone with information should call triple-0 or crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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