Accused police impersonators allegedly bashed man at gunpoint and stole car

A Melbourne financial consultant says he was driving home from work when two men, pretending to be police officers, pulled him over, beat him, threatened him with a gun and stole his vehicle.

Richard George, 24, told Nine News that he saw flashing red and blue lights behind him about 2am on December 17 on Brunton Avenue near Melbourne’s MCG.

The men, allegedly posing as plain-clothes detectives, told Mr George his vehicle – an Audi A5 – was suspected of being involved in a hit-run. He said the men asked for his driver’s licence, and questioned whether he had been drinking alcohol.

“When I asked for ID and stuff they pretended to call back-up,” Mr George said.

“They had gloves on, and they acted like normal police officers. They had gear on; they had torches.

Mr George said the men left him with a fractured eye socket and a broken nose. Credit:Nine News

“I wasn’t really thinking, ‘I’m going to be pulled over by fake police’.”

The men, initially driving a Nissan X-Trail, allegedly beat Mr George – leaving him with a fractured eye socket and broken nose – threatened him with a gun, and stole his vehicle, which they used to commit further offences.

It is alleged another driver was pulled over on December 26 by a black sedan flashing its lights at Mickleham on Forest Red Gum Drive about 12.40am. He claimed to have been forced to the ground, with his hands bound, and his blue Audi then stolen.

A third driver claims that, later that same morning about 5.30 at Box Hill, two men stopped them and shouted, “show me your hands”, before speeding off at 180km/h.

Victoria Police investigated the reports and later located the two stolen Audis on January 8 at a motel in Parkdale.

Richard George, who says he was pulled over and attacked by two men claiming to be police officers.Credit:Nine News

A search of the black Audi allegedly turned up weapons, including a gel blaster handgun, duct tape, a flashing blue and red light, methylamphetamine and cocaine.

Victoria Police arrested 29-year-old Aspendale man Shaun Tantrum at the hotel and charged him with two counts of aggravated carjacking, assault and impersonating police, among other offences. He was remanded to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on April 4.

His alleged co-offender, 19-year-old Melbourne man Noah Giuliano, was arrested on Thursday and charged with aggravated carjacking, false imprisonment and two counts of stealing a vehicle among other offences. He was bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court, also on April 4.

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