Armed bandit caught in siege
By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
A MAN suspected of holding up two Gladstone stores on Tuesday has been arrested in Rockhampton following a three-hour siege.
A 33-year-old man surrendered to police shortly after 9am yesterday after he barricaded himself in the ceiling of a second-storey Campbell Street unit.
The man has been charged with a number of offences including two counts of armed robbery, one count of stealing, one count of dangerous driving and two counts of weapons offences. The charges relate to two armed rob- beries at Gladstone City Mobil service station and Hungry Jacks on Tuesday.
The Observer yesterday reported a man had robbed the Mobil service sta- tion about 6am on Tuesday using a hand- gun and escaping in a grey Ford Falcon. At 8.55pm the same day, the man al- legedly held up Hungry Jacks.
Moments later police saw the Falcon sedan on Palm Drive and a chase ensued.
Two police cars followed the man along Port Curtis Way towards Rock- hampton, reaching speeds of more than 160kph.
District Inspector Rowan Bond said the first attempt by Rockhampton police to lay Stingers to deflate the tyres was unsuccessful but a second attempt on the outskirts of Rockhampton deflated two passenger side tyres.
'The main objective was to bring it to a conclusion without endangering any- one,' Insp Bond said.
The man drove into a side street in a West Rockhampton suburb where he and a female passenger abandoned the car about 10pm and ran away.
The woman was found nearby shortly after.
About 5am yesterday police con- verged on a block of units in Campbell Street, Rockhampton, where they be- lieved the suspect was hiding.
A Gladstone police officer searched the unit of a couple and toddler who were known associates of the man.
The officer discovered the man in the roof space of the unit and retreated. Police alleged the man then fired a warning shot into the roof.
Police withdrew from the building, the units were evacuated and the area cordoned off as negotiations began about 6am.
Insp Bond said the man surrendered himself at 9am and was later charged. He will appear in Rockhampton Mag- istrates Court today.