By Luke Voogt
Geelong police arrested 37 people in a three-day operation beginning last Friday involving the Air Wing, Dog Squad and Critical Incident Response Team.
Among the arrests was man from Lalor, but with no fixed address, who police observed in an allegedly-stolen vehicle on the Geelong Ring Road in Highton on Saturday.
Highway Patrol cars followed the vehicle from a distance while a police helicopter tracked it to an address in Laverton, where the Dog Squad subsequently located it.
Officers charged Steve Kaxos, 31, of no fixed address, with motor vehicle theft, dangerous driving while pursued, going equipped to steal, dangerous driving, failing to stop a vehicle on police direction and driving whilst disqualified.
Mr Kaxos appeared in Geelong Magistrates’ Court on Monday afternoon and made no application for bail.
A magistrate remanded him in custody to appear again on December 1.
On Sunday officers arrested a Norlane man they observed driving on Shannon Avenue in a red vehicle that was involved in a “high-speed dangerous driving event” earlier that day, police alleged.
A police helicopter followed the vehicle to an address in Whittington and officers arrested the man as he exited it.
Officers found a homemade firearm inside the vehicle, police alleged.
Police charged Jacob Timpany, 21, of Norlane, with reckless conduct endangering life, reckless conduct endangering serious injury, being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, dangerous driving, possessing a controlled weapon and possessing ammunition.
Mr Timpany appeared on Monday afternoon in Geelong Magistrates’ Court, where a magistrate denied his application for bail and remanded him in custody to appear again on December 21.
Police checked 870 vehicles and impounded five, conducted 670 breath tests, executed 21 arrest warrants and seven search warrants as part of Operation Striketeam.
Officers also conducted 217 marine inspections resulting in them recovering a stolen car from the Barwon River and another from Hovells Creek in Lara.
The operation, including transit police, the Air Wing, Dog Squad, Water Police, Search and Rescue, Mounted Branch and the Critical Incident Response Team was “unprecedented” in Geelong, Acting Senior Sergeant Daniel York said.
“We were able to make a number of significant arrests, including [people] engaging in highly-dangerous driving which could have ended in tragic consequences, if police had not intervened,” he said.