Heavily Armed Police Storm Melbourne Pub After Five-Hour Siege
Heavily armed police have descended on a pub in Melbourne's north this morning following reports of armed burglary.
Dog squads and special operations have been called in and the area surrounding Westmeadows Tavern on Ardlie Street has been placed into lockdown as armed police face a standoff with the offenders inside the establishment.
Authorities were called to the scene at about 5am.
It is understood police initially tried to negotiate with the offenders, reportedly armed with guns, via a megaphone.
Breaking news reports suggest at least 15 police officers have since stormed the building after the offenders failed to respond to requests to answer the hotel phone.
They have asked the public to avoid the area.
A statement from Victoria Police said "shortly after police arrived a woman ran from the venue stating she had been held inside. The woman was not physically harmed."
Local resident Bruce Allen said the pub is sometimes targeted by thieves.
He explained how his son used to work there and it was robbed twice during that time, The Herald Sun reports.
“Its happened probably four or five times over the past few years. It’s usually the bottle shop but I don’t know what it is this time," he said.
Allen said it is otherwise fairly quiet in the area.
Another resident, Shanice Bandendriesef, told the publication she was woken up at about 6.30am to noises coming from a megaphone.
“We hopped out onto the balcony and we could see a lot of police," she said.
On Sunday night a gun was fired during an armed robbery in Hadfield, a suburb just 9km away from Westmeadows.
However a Victoria Police spokesperson confirmed to 10 daily that there's nothing to suggest the two incidents are related.
Police are still on the scene.
More to come.