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NSW: ATM attack mastermind refused bail

By Andrew Drummond
16 Jan 2009 6:03 PM
EDS: Changes keyword from ATM

SYDNEY, Jan 16 AAP - A man on parole for armed robbery is alleged to be the mastermind of a series of hold-ups and gas attacks on Sydney automatic teller machines (ATMs).

Anthony Charles Honeysett, 25, was arrested on Friday morning at his Pyrmont apartment where police allegedly found a sawn-off shotgun, gas cylinders, piping, drugs and cash.

He has since been charged with 19 offences including robbery, larceny, drug matters and firearms offences.

The charges relate to three ATM attacks - at Chester Hill, Clovelly and Rhodes - where the machines were blown up after being pumped full of gas, as well as armed robberies at hotels, clubs and pharmacies across Sydney since September 17 last year.

Honeysett's Aboriginal Legal Service solicitor Sheryn Omeri did not apply for bail when he faced Central Local Court.

Magistrate Paul Lyon formally refused bail, citing that the defendant was on parole until 2011 after serving jail time for armed robbery.

Documents before the court allege Honeysett armed himself with a range of weapons including a pistol, rifle, shot gun and screwdriver before robbing cash and sedatives from two pharmacies at North Ryde and St Ives.

He also allegedly robbed more than $33,000 from a range of hotels and clubs including $13,000 from the Drummoyne Rowing Club on Monday.

On November 25 last year, police allege Honeysett was part of a criminal gang which blew up a Bendigo Bank ATM on Clovelly Road at the beachside suburb of the same name.

Police allege Honeysett was part of a group responsible for a similar attack on a St George Bank ATM at Chester Hill on December 18 which failed to net any cash.

However, later the same night it is believed the same group successfully stole $62,340 from a Bank of Queensland ATM at Rhodes.

Dressed in the same clothes he was wearing at the time of his arrest, Honeysett sat quietly in the dock as his matter was mentioned, blowing a kiss to a woman in the public gallery as he was led back to the cells.

Earlier on Friday, Detective Superintendent Greig Newbery said the ATM attacks were believed to be the work of a crime gang of which Honeysett was a "significant" member.

"We will allege that this person was working as part of a criminal group," Supt Newbery told reporters in Sydney.

"Our inquiries are continuing and we are very confident we will be arresting further persons in relation to these offences.

"He was certainly a significant member of this criminal group, that is what we will allege."

Detectives have been working desperately to identify those responsible for more than 30 attacks on ATMs across NSW since July last year.

Police said late last year that millions of dollars had been stolen during the explosive raids.

"I'm confident that in the near distant future we will certainly be arresting more people," Supt Newbery said.

"I believe there are a number of criminal groups involved in this, but I don't want to speculate on who or how many."

Honeysett will next face Central Local Court on March 26.