WITH TWO of Australia’s most wanted men now behind bars, 1029 Hot Tomato’s Flan and Emily Jade wanted to dig a little deeper into the story that has captured the nation.
This morning they spoke with Channel 7 reporter Robert Ovadia, who gave a great insight into why father and son, Gino and Mark Stocco, were wanted by Police.
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Flan: “Robert, thank you so much for joining us. Can you take us through why the Stoccos were on the run in the first place?”
Robert: “Compared to what they were charged with overnight, relatively minor offences – fraud, larcen, low level violence throughout Queensland. They eventually made Australia’s most wanted list.
“They were also known for terrorising famers when they were sacked from farm hand jobs – slashing tyres in the middle of the night, burning their property. That was the sort of thing they were wanted for.
“The irony now is that they are charged with so much more significant offences in their attempts to evade capture.
“They are now charged with the murder of Rosario Cimone, a crop fitter at Dunedoo, also shooting with intent to murder, police pursuit charges, illegally owning guns and receiving stolen property. They’re in a lot of trouble.”
Flan: “Can you confirm they were using armour piercing ammunition?”
Robert: “I can’t confirm that yet, but I do know they were using a .308 – a very high-powered rifle that could cause a lot of damage.
“Yesterday really could not have gone better for NSW Police. It was the scenario they had hoped for – that they be there with overwhelming force and take them by surprise.
“Gino Stocco emerged from the farmhouse – they took him down very forcefully and then Mark subsequently surrendered peacefully.”
Emily Jade: “They’ve been on the run for a long time. What was the difference between Police searching for them a few years ago and now?”
Robert: “Two things: the shooting at Police a couple of weeks ago really put it firmly on the radar. But mostly, with all the media coverage, they lost their anonymity. They couldn’t just go to farmhouses and apply for jobs. They were forced into hiding. That made them turn to more desperate measures just to get by and that was always going to make them play into Police hands.
“There is a theory with police at the moment – they couldn’t work out, with the offences they had in Queensland at the time, why they should all of a sudden escalate to shooting at police.
“The theory is: they had murdered Rosario Cimone a couple weeks ago and when they were intercepted police thought they were coming across these guys for larceny and fraud etc. but in (the Stoccos’) paranoid minds they thought they were after them for murder.”
Flan: “Can you comment at all about allegations that the farmer they allegedly murdered was allegedly part of cannabis cultivation for crime gangs?”
Robert: “That’s certainly what police believe. You can’t sugar coat that. Rosario Cimone is well known to police for cannabis cultivation and large amounts as well and has been before the courts. It has an Italian Mafioso-feel about it. The Stoccos are Italian, so maybe knew each other…”
Flan: “Their ability to hide was amazing – as a father of young kids I admire that…”
Robert: “Yes, but the stupidity of criminals continues to astound me, it’s a big, wide country. They were stupid enough to go back to a property that they had links with, something the Police would be able to anticipate, which they did. And that was there undoing.”
You can catch Flan & Emily Jade for Breakfast on 102.9 Hot Tomato every weekday morning from 5am.