AN accused knife attacker and stand-over man was in custody last night after a massive police operation which ended up with the suspect being meekly arrested hiding inside a room of an East Cessnock home.
Teams of police converged on the Coalfields town yesterday morning after reports that a car which had crashed in a suburban street had been stolen during a Raymond Terrace home invasion the previous evening.
A 43-year-old man, who was already being hunted by detectives for questioning over the stabbing of a man at Woodberry on Tuesday morning, had also become the prime suspect in the Raymond Terrace home invasion.
Police allege the two occupants were stood over and threatened by two men and a woman before items were stolen, as well as the car.
The Holden Commodore was filled up at Heatherbrae and was not seen again until the crash on Old Maitland Road at Cessnock about 11am.
Two men and a woman were seen to run from the scene and a spear gun, similar to one stolen during the home invasion, was found inside the abandoned car.
Several blocks throughout East Cessnock, including the local primary school, were placed in lock-down as police cordoned off the scene and began searching for the suspects.
A police helicopter was brought in from a search at Port Stephens to assist detectives and uniformed officers.
A police dog was also used to search backyards and underneath houses before officers zeroed in on one house.
The main suspect was found in one room while a 20-year-old man and 23-year-old woman were found in different rooms in the house.
Police said the occupants did not know they had three intruders hiding inside their home.
Police have charged the older man with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, attempted murder, aggravated break and enter, dishonestly obtain property by deception and car theft.
He was refused bail to face Maitland Local Court on Thursday.
The younger man and the woman were also charged with being carried in a stolen vehicle, while the woman will also face a drug possession charge.
Both were conditionally bailed to face court in July.
POLICE have arrested three people following a major operation in Cessnock.
Two men and a woman were taken into custody about 1.30pm on Wednesday after several East Cessnock streets were cordoned off for several hours.
The operation began after police received information that a suspect wanted in connection with a stabbing at Woodberry on Tuesday was in the area.
Dog squad and police helicopter joined detectives and general duties police in cordoning off several blocks while a major search was undertaken through backyards and under houses.
Officers attended the scene after a car, allegedly stolen, was involved in a collision on Old Maitland Road at Cessnock about 11am and three people fled the scene.
Police began searching, locking down a nearby school as a precaution.
Two men, aged 43 and 20, and a 23-year-old woman were arrested in a Yulgarn Avenue house about 1.30pm.
All three were taken to Maitland Police Station where they are assisting with inquiries.
Police are also investigating possible links to a home invasion that occurred in Raymond Terrace on Tuesday night.
POLICE have cordoned off several Cessnock streets as they hunt down a suspect wanted for questioning over a stabbing at Woodberry.
The police helicopter and dog squad members have joined detectives and uniformed officers searching backyards and under houses adjacent to Old Maitland Road and Anzac Avenue.
They have been searching the area since about 10am on Wednesday and could be looking for up to three people.
One of the men is believed to be wanted for questioning over the stabbing of a man at Woodberry on Tuesday morning.
More to come.