Source: Maitland Mercury
Shanghai night field

The Australian Defence Force has launched an investigation after police found three military bombs at Kurri Kurri during a search over a $12,000 heist.

Three mortar shells and parts of mortars were seized from the home and the army has confirmed some of the weapons were ­standard issue military artillery.

The defence force has seized the mortars and is trying to determine how the bombs – which police said was enough to blow up a village – were obtained.

Investigators are deeply concerned the weapons were being stored in a suburban house where a 36-year-old woman and two young children were living.

Charges have not yet been laid.

A police investigation into a robbery in East Maitland on August 23 led Central Hunter detectives to the house.

A 42-year-old female security guard from Maitland Security Services at Ashtonfield was walking to a bank at Green Hills ­carrying $12,000 in a discrete bag at 3.20pm when a hooded man grabbed it, ran to a ­nearby yellow Holden Commodore, got in and fled.

Witnesses told police a female driver was waiting for the man in the car and their descriptions helped police trace the vehicle to the Kurri Kurri address.

A police search recovered a bank ­security bag and some of the money inside the house.

Police said the security guard had picked up the banking bag from a Rutherford business on then completed other security duties before driving to Green Hills shopping centre to take the cash to the bank.

They also found cannabis, hashish (cannabis resin), cannabis seed, amphetamines, ice and prescription medication.

The 36-year-old woman has been charged with stealing and two counts of possessing a prohibited drug.

Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector John Zdrilic said police sought advice from the NSW Police Bomb and Rescue Squad and army bomb experts when the mortars were found.

He said police were concerned about the welfare of the woman’s children in the house – especially the one-year-old who allegedly was wearing a heavily soiled nappy at the time of the police raid.

Inspector Zdrilic said police notified the NSW Department of Community Services which conducted inquiries and took the children on Wednesday.

DOCS ordered the woman and her partner to undergo urine tests late last week to determine if they had drugs in their system, police said.

Further inquiries into the robbery led police to believe the security guard was involved in organising the theft.

A police search of her home at Macquarie Hills, near Newcastle, resulted her being taken to Belmont charged with stealing and possessing fireworks.

She was taken to Belmont police station and charged with stealing.

The hooded man who grabbed the cash has not yet been identified.

Police have appealed for witnesses who saw the man or who have information about the robbery to come forward.

He was wearing a dark hooded jumper pulled over his head, sunglasses, and jeans at the time of the incident.

Inspector Zdrilic urged anyone with information to phone Maitland detectives on 4934 0200 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Mortar bombs and shells seized in search on a Kurri Kurri property.