Sydney news: NSW Police say three inner-west robberies linked, bigger fines for COVID-19 breaches flagged

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

String of robberies connected

Detectives are hunting for a group of men believed to be behind a spate of armed hold-ups across Sydney’s inner-west.

Investigators from the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad have released CCTV footage of three armed robberies at Canterbury, Hurlstone Park and Wiley Park on January 3 and 4.

Three men armed with knives and a gun stole cash from a number of poker machines and threatened employees when they held up a pub at Canterbury about 4:40am on Sunday January 3.

About 2:40am on Monday January 4, a man armed with a gun threatened a convenience store employee at Hurlstone Park before stealing cash and cigarettes.

And two men armed with a knife and a gun threatened a 45-year-old man and stole cash and cigarettes when they robbed a service station at Wiley Park just after 7:00am on Monday January 4.

Bigger fines flagged for COVID-19 breaches

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned she is considering increasing fines for businesses who flout coronavirus restrictions.

From tomorrow, capacity limits on household and outdoor gatherings, weddings and funerals will be increased and there’ll be no limit on hospitality venues, provided the 4 square metre rule is observed.

Ms Berejiklian says in two weeks that might even be relaxed to 2 square metres, but flagged she was considering increasing fines to make sure businesses are doing the right thing.

“What we’re trying to do is prevent a super spreader event, tomorrow’s easing of rules also means masks won’t be needed in retail settings, but they’ll remain compulsory on public transport,” she said.

Home invasion turns violent

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was attacked by a group armed with bats and sticks outside his western Sydney home.

The 36-year-old was sitting outside his Granville home when five men wearing masks and armed with bats and sticks began attacking him, just after 11:30pm yesterday.

Officers said the group followed the man inside the house and continued assaulting him before fleeing west on Victoria Street.

The man was treated for a laceration to the head and taken to Westmead Hospital in a stable condition.

Nurses at breaking point

A nurse from the Hunter region has told a NSW parliamentary health inquiry that staff are overworked and are at breaking point.

The inquiry is examining healthcare standards in rural and regional areas including access to services and health spending.

A Cessnock nurse is among the 150 people or groups who have made submissions, telling the inquiry more needed to be done to provide safer and more efficient healthcare.

She said with the current COVID-19 situation and doctors surgeries not seeing as many patients, the Cessnock ED is getting pushed beyond breaking point.

Pandemic sees real estate movements

House prices in Sydney reached a record high at the end of 2020, but the harbour city’s units have lost the most value of all capital cities.

The median house price in Sydney in the December quarter was $1.2 million after a jump of nearly 5 per cent, a Domain report said.

That is about $13,000 above the previous peak in mid-2017.

But the gap between houses and units in Sydney continued to widen, the new report showed.

Extracted from ABC

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