Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Police in Perth have vowed to continue cracking down on bikies as a bitter feud between two outlaw motorcycle gangs threatens to spiral out of control.



In the latest incident, a member of the Rock Machine has his house in Marden Road sprayed with bullets and gunshot in the Perth suburb of Thornlie.

The bullets were fired into a car on the front lawn and the house was peppered with gunshot.

One neighbour, who was still shaking when he spoke to the ABC on condition of anonymity, said he was woken by the shots.

"I thought my house was getting smashed up," he said.

"There was just a great big loud noise and my dog was just going absolutely ballistic at the door. I went outside and heard someone speed off.

"It just scared the hell out of me."

Another neighbour says the house was one of dozens raided by police from the Organised Gang Squad during a recent crackdown on bikie gangs.

"The police came very quietly at 6:30 in the morning and entered the house," she said.

"There was a lot of forensic people that came and they removed what we thought looked like shotguns."

It also understood police seized a WW11 bomb from the house.

Police are working to establish a motive for the shooting but are expecting little help from the victim who fled before they arrived.

The bikies are notorious for their code of silence but there's no doubt police attention will focus on the Rebels bikie gang which is locked in a bitter feud with the Rock Machine.

A member of the Rock Machine has been charged with the attempted murder of Rebels leader Nick Martin.

Mr Martin was shot in the arm outside his house in the Perth suburb of Bayswater in March.

A Perth court suppressed the name of the alleged shooter for his own safety.

Police say the feud is over drug turf but another theory doing the rounds is that the Rebels are upset over the defection of a gang member to the Rock Machine.

When this feud erupted police were already battling to control another war between the Coffin Cheaters and the Finks.

Hostilities between the two gangs became public when they clashed violently at the Kwinana Motorplex last year.

One Finks member was shot in the leg and another had three fingers severed.

Five members of the Finks were later jailed for two years by the Corruption and Crime Commission for failing to answer questions about the fight.

That brawl prompted police to reassure the public they were not in danger from the gangs, and in a show of strength police later raided dozens of bikie properties across Perth seizing, drugs firearms and ammunition.

Last month, a member of the Rock Machine was followed home by several men after being released from prison and bashed.

However, the Police Commissioner, Karl O'Callaghan, later revealed the bikie, who refused to co-operate, had been attacked by his own gang members for removing a club tattoo.

"It just shows you the type of people we are dealing with here," he said.

"Probably the lowest common denominator in our society."

Against this backdrop police have continued to gather intelligence on the bikie gangs and have chalked up some arrests.

Four men, including three truck drivers, were charged earlier this month with trafficking 29 kilograms of cannabis into WA.

The haul had an estimated street value of $1.4 million.

Police say the drug syndicate, which had been using the interstate road freight industry to smuggle drugs, was linked to the Gypsy Jokers.

And police have charged a high ranking member of the Gypsy Jokers with drug offences.

It is alleged he was caught with half a kilogram of methylamphetamine.

These arrests show police are making inroads but there's no doubt they fear the simmering tensions between the gangs will boil over into a bloody war.

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