Police believe the victims of a brutal home invasion in Melbourne’s west were “completely innocent” after masked intruders forced their way inside the home armed with guns and an axe.
Dramatic footage capturing the incident on April 29 shows three men, clad entirely in black clothing, attempting to break into a Strathmore property on Term Street at about 1.20am.
In the clip the first man can be seen firing several shots into the front door of the home before the second man swings an axe at it.
After their attempts to kick in the door fail, the men turn their attention to the adjacent window. Using the axe to break through the glass, the window shatters before two of the men suddenly run off.
But one remains and he pulls himself through the broken window while the other two men return to the scene. A second man can then be seen jumping through the empty frame before the front door opens and the third man walks in.
After less than a minute inside the home, during which police say shots were fired at a 54-year-old man, all three men were captured fleeing the property.
Fortunately the resident wasn’t physically injured in the incident which police believe was a case of mistaken identity.
“This was a violent incident which was absolutely terrifying for the residents, who are completely innocent parties in this,” Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Simon Pengelly said.
“We believe this was a planned and targeted attack that was recklessly executed, with the offenders attending the wrong address and firing shots at innocent persons.”
It’s believed the trio of thugs arrived at the property in a stolen Volkswagen Tiguan which was later found burnt out in Woodstock on Donnybrook Road. A white 2018 Mazda 3 hatchback was spotted leaving the scene of the car fire and driving towards Epping.
Police appeal for public assistance
Police hope that by releasing the footage of the home invasion someone may be able to recognise the men and provide information on their current whereabouts.
“We understand that alliances shift over time,” Det Snr Sgt Pengelly said. “If you have information of the men or the vehicle in these images, we’re particularly keen to speak to you.”
“If there are people out there with information about the incident who are yet to come forward, I’d again appeal to those people to contact police and as always, this can be done anonymously.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident, has information on the men or the vehicle involved is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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