Manhunt after crime spree in South East Metro
Harry, 84, where his white Holden Cruze was stolen from this morning. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

Police are hunting a gang who terrorised residents with a tomahawk during a car theft rampage in East Victoria Park and Carlisle early today.

Harry, 84, admitted it “scared the s***” out of him when a man wielding a tomahawk confronted him as he came out the door of his unit after noticing a young man lurking in the driveway.

“I backed away to try to close the door but I was too late and he was in,” Harry explained. “He’s standing in the lounge-room with a tomahawk above his head saying ‘give me your keys and I won’t kill you’.”

Harry, who did not want his surname revealed, said he quickly handed over his car keys and the bandit fled.

The man’s waiting accomplices joined him in the white Holden Cruze and they sped away from the Memorial Avenue unit.

Harry, whose wife was also home, was the fourth target of the violent gang this morning.

Police received the first call for help about 8.20am, after a young woman woke to find a man ransacking her bedroom for valuables.

She and two flatmates told police two men had been in their Beatty Avenue home and stole their handbags and mobile phones.

Minutes later, Michael was at his car at his mother-in-law’s Bank Street home when two dark-skinned men came up the driveway.

The 49-year-old initially stood his ground as the men yelled: ‘give me your f***ing keys’.

“But as they got about 5m away, I saw one had a tomahawk axe so I told my son to run back inside and I followed and tried to close the door,” he explained.

As Michael slammed the door shut and stood behind it holding it closed, he heard the thump of the tomahawk striking the door.

“We were shaking,” he said. “But we’re safe and we’re lucky.”

The men fled as he yelled that he was calling the police. His family saw other men lurking near the front gate.

Police believe the same gang then crossed the railway line and confronted a great-grandmother in Lion Street at her Carlisle nursing home unit.

Esma Brown, 81, was not scared by the two men - just angry.

"How dare they," the 81-year-old said. "I moved into that area to be safe, but apparently I wasn’t."

Mrs Brown was putting out her rubbish when the men confronted her and demanded her keys.

"I tried to shut the door quickly and they pushed it out of the way. They didn’t actually get in the house. They pushed me and I went over.

"They were yelling at me the whole time saying ‘keys, keys, car keys’ and I was saying I haven’t got a car.

"They took the house keys out of my hand while they were yelling. When I fell, they threw the keys behind me and took off."

Mrs Brown sustained bruising to her eye and broke her glasses during the incident.

She said the two men did not use any weapons.

Police suspect the bandits then ran to another part of the seniors’ complex where they confronted Harry.

Kensington Det-Sgt Troy Morris described the attacks as brazen and cowardly.

Police last night released images of three of four men they want to question about the crime spree. They believe the men are aged between 16 and 24.

They have also urged anyone who sees the stolen white Holden Cruze, registration 1EFG 195, to call police immediately on 131 444.

The West Australian

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