The lure of drugs and a five figure cash payday was the catalyst behind an armed home invasion turned robbery at Figtree on Monday afternoon, a court has heard.
Apprentice tradies Cayden Collis and Tyson Komainadravusa, both 18, stand accused of joining two other men in covering their faces and storming the St George Avenue home in the hopes of securing up to three pounds (450 grams) of cannabis, expensive gaming equipment and possibly $60,000, which they believed the victim had inside the home at the time.
Instead, the group allegedly made off with a watch worth $1k, an Xbox and controller valued at $800, a Louis Vuitton glasses case, a Gucci bag worth $1400, a pair of TN sneakers valued at $250, and $900 worth of cannabis.
Collis was arrested on Monday afternoon and charged with aggravated break and enter with intent to steal while armed.
He was subsequently granted strict conditional bail in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, police arrested Komainadravusa at his Bellambi home on Tuesday afternoon. Police will allege they discovered the bulk of the stolen items in a bag inside the house.
Komainadravusa was charged with the same offence as Collis.
He faced court on Wednesday where he successfully applied for release on bail to live with his grandmother in Windang under curfew.
As part of his bail conditions, Komainadravusa must report to police daily, surrender his passport and is prohibited from entering the suburbs of Woonona, Bellambi or Figtree.
He is also banned from contacting or being in the company of any of his co-accused, meaning he and Collis, both of whom are employed by the same company as apprentice painters, are unable to continue working together.
Documents tendered to the court reveal Collis allegedly drove the group to the premises, where they covered their faces with masks or t-shirts and knocked on the door of the downstairs garage.
The victim opened the door, at which time the group barged into the home. Komainadravusa allegedly grabbed the victim by the neck and pointed a knife at his throat as Collis armed himself with a nearby baseball bat.
The victim told police Komainadravusa forced him into an adjoining bedroom and demanded money.
Meanwhile, there were four female witnesses in the home, one of whom allegedly began filming the encounter.
Police will allege Collis and the two other co-accused began ransacking the home, picking up items and placing them in a duffle bag.
The victim's brother walked downstairs and saw what was occurring, prompting him to run back up the stairs and lock the door into the main house.
This startled the group, with Komainadravusa allegedly telling the victim "you'd better not f--king say anything" as another of the intruders called out "f--king come on, let's go".
The four men ran to Collis' vehicle and fled the scene.
Collis allegedly drove his three companions to a service station where they purchased drinks, then took them to their respective homes in Bellambi before returning to his mother's house to change clothes.
He then went to his father's house in Towradgi where he was arrested later that evening.
Police will allege video recorded by one of the women inside the home partially captures the events, including showing Komainadravusa holding the victim by the scruff of his jumper, and Collis rummaging through the lounge room before packing the Xbox into a duffle bag.
The court heard Komainadravusa made "full admissions" to carrying out the home invasion when he was interviewed by detectives.
He told police the stolen items found in the bag were to be sold to "whoever could locate a buyer and the profits would to be equally split between the four".
Both cases will return to court in September.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.