Teens charged over robbery spree face court

Four teenagers who police say went on a spree of armed robberies of south west Sydney petrol stations armed with a rifle and an aluminium baseball bat faced court on Saturday.

Omar Zreika, 18, of Auburn, Mohamed Elsaj, 18, of Berala and their two co-accused, boys aged 16 and 17, who cannot be identified, all did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.

They were charged over robberies of petrol stations at Guildford, Lansvale, Lindcombe, Yagoona, Potts Hill and Granville between October 3, 2013 and Friday, January 3, 2014.

The police charge sheets tendered to the court state that up to $600 in cash and up to $10,000 worth of cigarettes were stolen during each of the incidents, with some of the service stations targeted several times.

During one robberies, at the BP service station at Lansvale police allege the youths stole a cash bag containing $73,737.

Officers allege that during another attack , on the same service station in Lansvale, Mr Zreika and Mr Elsaj also assaulted an employee.

Mr Zreika was charged with six counts of armed robbery in company, assault and robbery with an offensive weapon.Mohamed Elsaj was charged with three counts of robbery with an offensive weapon, four counts of armed robbery in company and assault.

A 17-year-old boy was charged with four counts of armed robbery in company, robbery armed with a dangerous weapon and breach of bail while the 16-year-old was charged with robbery while armed with an offensive weapon.

Officers from Strike Force McCormack, formed to investigate the robberies, searched a house on Myall Street, Auburn on Friday and arrested  the four males.

Police conducted further searches at their houses and seized clothing and the baseball bat they allege was used in the armed robberies.

Officers also seized a ballistic vest and drugs including cocaine and ecstasy.

Mr Zreika and Mr Elsaj are due to appear at Parramatta Local Court on January 9.

The 17-year-old is set to appear at Parramatta Children's Court on January 14, while the 16-year-old's matter goes to the same court on January 5.

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