Police have reassured residents in Cobram and surrounding districts there is little danger to them in the hunt for wanted fugitive Graham Gene Potter.JESSICA GRIMBLE May 16, 2013 5:00pm
Police have reassured residents in Cobram and surrounding districts there is little danger to them in the hunt for wanted fugitive Graham Gene Potter.
Purana Taskforce detectives overseeing the hunt for Potter have received information he may be staying in the Riverina area.
They have arrived in Cobram and are working with local detectives and uniformed police to speak with people and businesses regarding a number of unconfirmed sightings as recently as six weeks ago.
They believe Potter — who they labelled ‘‘Australia’s most wanted man’’ — could be in Cobram or Tocumwal and working or have worked as a fruit picker or labourer.
‘‘My message would be the community — if we thought he was a concern to them, we would have a lot more police here and we’d be going through everything,’’ Detective Superintendent Gerry Ryan of Purana Taskforce told the Cobram Courier this afternoon.
‘‘Even though he’s got a history of murder, he’s a person that hasn’t come under the notice of police for over three years.
‘‘We know he likes being in small country towns and he befriends the towns and he won’t hurt the local community.’’
Potter, 55, has been on the run since he failed to appear on bail for conspiracy to murder charges at Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on February 1, 2010.
Despite a number of sightings in Queensland and several nation-wide public appeals, Potter has managed to evade police capture for more than three years.
Potter is facing criminal charges of conspiracy to murder and is wanted in relation to serious Commonwealth drug charges.
Since Potter failed to appear at Melbourne Magistrate’s Court in February 2010, Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police have been working closely together and with other state law enforcement agencies to try and determine his location.
Potter was last sighted by local police in Tully, Queensland, south of Cairns and north of Townsville, on August 28 when he ran from a vehicle during a routine police intercept.
An extensive search was carried out and his camping equipment was seized by the Queensland Police Service.
It is believed the 55-year-old was residing in a local caravan park in Tully for about six weeks prior to his detection by police.
Detective Superintendent Ryan said calls to Crime Stoppers and Cobram Police Station this morning had reinforced the sightings in the area.
‘‘We are aware that Mr Potter is capable of living rough and camping out so there is a chance he could be staying in caravan parks or camping in remote areas of the Riverina,’’ Detective Superintendent Ryan said.
‘‘We also believe there is a possibility that local growers or farmers could unknowingly be employing Mr Potter as a labourer or picker.
‘‘We are asking those employers to consider carefully who they are providing lodging to or employing and to make reasonable enquiries about their prospective employee’s identity.’’
Detective Superintendent Ryan said police were aware Potter, while living in Queensland, was in a relationship with a woman and believed that was a possibility in this area.
‘‘He may well be with people and in a relationship with people who don’t know who he is,’’ Detective Superintendent Ryan said.
‘‘We (also) believe there is a person or number of people who actually know where he is and we call those people to come forward and assist us.’’
Potter is described as Caucasian, 175cm tall, medium to solid build, brown eyes, fair complexion with brown greying hair and a ginger beard. He has a gold sleeper earring in both ears, wears glasses and regularly wears a gold chain around his neck.
Potter has a propensity for changing his appearance and has used a number of aliases including Josh Lawson, John Page, Jim Henderson and Peter Adams.
Detective Superintendent Ryan said a firm description of Potter today was not available.
‘‘He does wear wigs and other forms of disguide, but his general appearance
Anyone who sights Potter is advised not to approach him but contact 000. Anyone with any information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800
Queensland music student Alex Raineri produced a stunning performance at Shepparton's Eastbank Centre to place first in the Australian National Piano Award.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons will have to regroup after being dismantled by the Tigers in the OMFNL second semi-final.
Transition Tatura held a successful film festival, Communities Shaping the Future: a Day of Conversations and Films on Saturday, August 30.
Dan Sultan, Sarah Blasko, Tex Perkins and the Whitlams have signed on for the 2015 Riverboats Music Festival.
Eamonn Tiernan has joined the Campaspe News team.
Hawthorn star visits Kyabram
Seymour Garden Club members remember the organisation's founder.
On Saturday, for the first time in Jerilderie Football Club's history, the Dees won three consecutive senior premierships.
Tellurian Wines’ Daniel Hopkins was thrilled to receive the top prize in the inaugural VIC100 wine awards at Federation Square in Melbourne.
The number of koalas sustaining injuries is on the rise with breeding season now in full swing, as September marks the the beginning of Save The Koala Month.
The annual Deni High School Ballroom Blitz was held on Tuesday night.
The often quoted maxim of Australia becoming the ‘food bowl for Asia’ has been dealt another blow with the finding of the ABC’s ‘fact checking’ program.
William 'Bill' Cleeland was inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame last week in recognition of his lifetime of service to the transport industry.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.