Thu, Oct 29, 2015 - Page 6 News List

Father, son fugitives caught in case that captivated Australia

‘INTENSE OPERATION’:New South Wales Police Assistant Commissioner Clint Pheeney said the police search spanned across a number of states

AFP, SYDNEY

Two of Australia’s most wanted men, a father and son, yesterday were caught after leading police on a near two-week chase that riveted the nation, with a decomposed body found at their isolated hideout.

The case of Gino Stocco and Mark Stocco — on the run for eight years — has enthralled Australian media since they opened fire on police during a car chase, with authorities launching a manhunt across three states for the men dubbed “modern day bushrangers.”

Wanted for a string of property and violent crimes, they evaded capture — despite multiple sightings — until a tip-off led heavily armed police to a farm in Dunedoo, 345km northwest of Sydney.

BODY FOUND

No shots were fired. Both men suffered minor injuries as they resisted arrest. New South Wales Police Assistant Commissioner Clint Pheeney said the body found after the arrests was believed to be that of a 68-year-old man missing since Oct. 8.

“Overall, this has been a very intense operation, which has spanned a number of states,” he added, as a murder investigation was launched.

The pair had been criss-crossing between New South Wales and Victoria states for the past 12 days, with police warning they were armed and dangerous.

WEAPONS

Pheeney defended the time it took to capture the men, who were suspected of having stockpiles of supplies and weapons along their route.

“If we look at how these people operated and if we look at the expanse of country out here, the number of roads that are sealed, unsealed, back roads, forestry trails, these people knew the bush,” he said.

“They knew the bush very well, they knew all the ways and times to avoid police,” he added.

The men have yet to be charged, but police earlier said they wanted to charge Gino Stocco, 58, and Mark Stocco, 35, with 13 offenses each, including attempted murder.

Both men have reportedly spent time in prison for crimes dating back at least as far as 2004, when Mark Stocco assaulted his mother.

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