A group of teens have been arrested after allegedly attempting to steal booze and attacking staff at a liquor store in Melbourne’s southeast overnight.
Police sprung into action after spotting a black Ford sedan with no plates parked outside a bottle shop on Andrew St in Mount Waverley shortly after 9pm.
Officers allege the four teens, dressed in balaclavas, stormed the store and demanded alcohol from the salesperson before striking him in the face.
Police units rushed to the scene where the four teens, aged between 14 and 17, were arrested before being charged with attempted robbery.
The swift arrest comes as police hone in on a “cohort of youth offenders” believed to be responsible for a surge in offences at Melbourne liquor outlets and supermarkets.
One of the four teens – a 17-year-old Cranbourne North boy – was charged in relation to three alleged attempted robberies on August 23 in Oakleigh East, Reservoir, and Northcote.
The group, whose names are suppressed under law, will appear before the Children’s Court later this year, with a 14-year-old being the only one to be released on Thursday on bail.
Police continue to target known offending hotspots and are using “all available intelligence” to detect and deter offending.
In a statement, Victoria Police said the proactive operations taskforce, known as Operation Cubed, would run daily across Melbourne and remain operational for as long as required.
Anyone who witnessed the incident, has dashcam footage or information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report to Crime Stoppers.