This was the warning Lae metropolitan superintendent, Anthony Wagambie Jnr, gave to settlers after the police shootout at Five-Mile early Saturday morning.
During the gunfight, a suspect was killed while two others were in critical conditions.
A few hours later, the Lae police boss conducted an awareness at the Five-Mile market.
“I warned the community that they must appeal to the youths to stay away from crime. They were man enough to confront police so they met their fate,” Wagambie Jnr said in a statement.
“Like I have always said, there is a time for everything. It's better to stay away from crime and live a life without being fearful of being hunted by Police.”
The police boss said whilst he was at the scene, members of the community told him that the three shot by Police were the ring leaders.
“They are the ones who do armed robberies on the travelling public, business houses and also to their own community,” says Wagambie Jnr.
“They are the right suspects, hard core criminals who live a life of carrying out crimes with violence.
“There had been 4 armed robberies along that area during the day and it has been confirmed that it was the same gang. They may have used their takings during the day to buy alcohol and continued the hold ups until they were hit hard by Police.”
He also revealed that a young police constable was almost shot in close range during the confrontation.
“The criminal had pointed and was going to shoot the constable at close range but the gun jammed. He was taken down.
“My warning to criminals is that Police will use any means necessary to defend ourselves and members of the public.
“Stop the robberies along the miles area, or else, meet your fate.”