By Casey Neill
A new police taskforce has arrested more than 15 wanted people in the south-east in just a fortnight.
But more fugitives remain on the run and the Divisional Response Unit (DRU) is appealing for the public’s help to find them.
“The best outcome for us and the community is a safe environment and that’s what we’re hoping to provide,” Detective Senior Sergeant John Bergin said.
“We’d encourage anyone who has information on the whereabouts of these individuals to contact Crime Stoppers.”
Det Sen Sgt Bergin said that 33-year-old John King was of Aboriginal appearance, 185cm tall and of medium build with brown eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion.
He is known to frequent Dandenong, Doveton and Pakenham and is wanted in relation to failing to appear at court, motor vehicle theft and handling stolen goods.
Nyamer Nhial, 22, is of African appearance and 183cm, tall with a medium build, brown eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion. She is wanted in relation to failing to appear at court, criminal damage and assault police offences and is known to frequent the Officer, Endeavour Hills and Pakenham areas.
Det Sen Sgt Bergin said 18-year-old Adam Scherwinski was Caucasian in appearance and 175cm tall with a thin build, brown eyes, dark brown hair and a fair complexion. He is wanted in relation to failing to appear at court, criminal damage, theft and aggravated burglary, and is known to frequent the Dandenong and Noble Park areas.
Earlier this month, the Journal reported that Det Sen Sgt Bergin had established the 20-member unit at Dandenong Police Station to tackle drug crime and fugitives in Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia.
Det Sen Sgt Bergin encouraged residents to keep an eye out for signs of cannabis-producing, hydroponic grow houses and clandestine laboratories, generally used to manufacture ice.
“We obviously rely on public information,” he said.
He said the usual signs of a lab included people entering and leaving a property at odd hours, strong chemical odours – often similar to cat urine – unusual noises, and dumped chemicals or chemical bottles.
Det Sen Sgt Bergin said usual signs of drug trafficking included people attending addresses for short periods of time, and people loitering in cars or on foot.
He said observed patterns of times, dates, descriptions of cars, registrations, suspects and addresses could help police.
“I think it’s fair to say that the whole division is impacted greatly by drug-related crime,” he said.
“We’re hell-bent on targeting that.”
He urged anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.