Phone sale gang attack sparks alert

POLICE have urged caution when buying or selling online as they investigate a home invasion at Merrylands on Wednesday night which left two men with head injuries.

Four men, aged 30, 29, and two 20-year-olds, were at a unit on Newman Street at 7.30pm when the 30-year-old received a call about a phone that he had listed for sale online.
He left to meet the potential buyer outside, but became concerned when he saw three men waiting and returned inside to give the phone to the 29-year-old before going outside again.
A short time later, the 29-year old was confronted by three men at the front of the unit who forced their way inside before assaulting him along with one of the 20-year-old men.
The trio, who were described as being of African appearance, then stole two phones and a laptop computer before fleeing.
The two men who were assaulted were taken to Westmead Hospital for treatment for concussion, and detectives from Cumberland Police Area Command (PAC) launched an investigation.
Cumberland crime manager, Detective Inspector Glenn Parks, urged people not to be complacent when buying or selling via social media sites.
He said it was important to get identification, including telephone numbers, and to take sensible precautions.
“You’ve got to protect yourself,” he said.
“Do not do an exchange at your home address and ensure you are not alone. Take someone with you and do it in daylight, not in a park late at night or in a dark street.
“Go to places covered by CCTV, to cafes, clubs, or shopping centres, particularly if you are dealing with high value items such as phones, iPads, and laptops, which are desirable for certain criminals.”
Anyone with information or dash-cam footage which may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.