Police are investigating a reported sighting of fugitive father and son Gino and Mark Stocco on the Hume Highway in southern New South Wales.
A media briefing scheduled for 2:00pm (AEDT) on Monday in Wagga Wagga was delayed so police could follow up the reported sighting at Tarcutta, about 50 kilometres east of Wagga Wagga.
Earlier, police said the pair could have stockpiles of supplies and weapons throughout New South Wales and Victoria.
Victorian Assistant Commissioner Rick Nugent said the sighting at Tarcutta was “unconfirmed”.
“New South Wales police are following up on that and we’ll continue to deploy our policing resources in and around the border and the north-east of Victoria,” he said.
He said Victoria Police would continue to assess their operational plans over the next few days before deciding whether or not to scale back the operation.
“Certainly the last confirmed sighting was on Saturday night at 9:00pm south of Gundagai. It’s now Monday,” he said.
“We’ll assess that later on and also again [on Tuesday], and if information and intelligence suggests they’ve continued in another direction we’ll look at winding back the operation here.
“But intelligence does indicate that the Stoccos do move frequently between southern New South Wales and north-east Victoria. We have that from the confirmed sightings.”
Assistant Commissioner Nugent said it appeared the pair was operating alone.
“We know that they drove off without paying for fuel recently. We do believe they’re running out of money and that they are not getting support from others, but we continue to investigate that,” he said.
“Our intelligence suggests that if they’re running out of money they will look at ways that they can obtain some food or other supplies — most likely by stealing them covertly.”
How fugitive father and son Gino and Mark Stocco keep evading a major police operation to find them.
The last confirmed sighting of the father and son at Gundagai in southern NSW occurred when they stopped to fill up a white Toyota LandCruiser with fuel, and drove away without paying, about 9:00pm (AEDT) on Saturday night.
Police also received a report of a sighting east of Wagga Wagga on Sunday morning, but have been unable to confirm that, Wagga Wagga Superintendent Bob Noble said.
There had been multiple sightings of the stolen vehicle in Victoria over the previous few days, including an unconfirmed sighting at Sale, in the state’s south-east, on Saturday morning.
Superintendent Noble said it was possible the men had caches of supplies hidden in bushland in NSW and Victoria.
“These are obviously fairly resourceful individuals,” Superintendent Noble told 702 ABC Sydney.
“They work in a team, obviously. There’s a high trust model. They are father and son. So it’s quite possible that level of organisation is present.”
Police have been running a major operation to capture Gino, 57, and his 35-year-old son since they allegedly shot at police with a high-powered rifle during a car chase in Wagga Wagga earlier this month.
Police believe the men have been changing their appearance, including shaving their beards.
They are wanted for a number of violent crimes and property offences in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Toyota LandCruiser used by Stocco fugitives
Photo: The Toyota LandCruiser ute was captured on CCTV at Bairnsdale on October 21. (Victoria Police)
“We’re keeping an open mind about the search pattern and the areas because they are mobile and the situation appears fluid,” Superintendent Noble said.
“The police want to see these people apprehended.
“There’s no hard evidence that they are likely to be violent towards members of the community but they have demonstrated a propensity for violence towards police and, to that end, they are unpredictable.
“People are concerned about that. People out in rural areas are concerned particularly because this seems to be the environment they’re comfortable in.”
The men are believed to be frequently changing the licence plates on the LandCruiser ute, and police believe they are in possession of at least four sets of plates: Vic YHS085, SA S415AZL, Vic ZUE632 and NSW BV70WP.
The ute is also fitted with a distinctive white bull bar, white rims and a black snorkel at the front of the vehicle on the driver’s side.
“A nice vehicle, a late model LandCruiser, and obviously there’s a fair few of them running around in this part of the world but we are taking all those alleged sightings and all that information seriously and chasing it all down,” Superintendent Noble said.