Local legends not afraid to tackle knife-wielding thieves
“They broke into my sister’s shop and we had a look at the video camera footage taken from the shop next door and we could identify roughly what they looked like so we spread the word through town for locals to keep an eye out,” Mr Quaid said.
“A mate of mine ended up spotting them about 4pm on Saturday walking along the highway just south of the Newell Beach turn-off when he was driving past and rang me, and the police.
“A group of us drove out there to see what they were carrying and we could see they had stolen products in their bags.
“By this time the police pulled up and the three of them bolted into the sugar cane field.
“So the four of us and the police split up and chased them through the cane.”
Two of the Sharks players eventually caught up with the troublesome trio, which is when the two men allegedly pulled knives out.
The Mossman men ignored their own safety and wrestled the alleged offenders to the ground before holding them for 10 minutes until police arrived.
“It wasn’t that scary at the time because it was more the thrill of adrenaline,” Mr Quaid said.
“The police were really helpful and did a really good job, the praise should really go to them.”
Mossman Detective Sergeant Trevor Perham said that the “young lads” provided valuable assistance.
“There was only myself and one uniformed female officer at the time so we couldn’t have arrested them without their assistance,” he said.
“I’d like to express my appreciation for the assistance provided to police. The information that was provided throughout the investigation and the arrest from locals and residents who witnessed the offences were very helpful.
“It is lovely to see the support from the community.”
The three were charged with 32 offences including burglary, breaking and entering, weapons offences, obstructing police and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Police said they found stolen property including cash, jewellery, food, alcohol, clothes and electric- ity items which will be returned to their owners.
It is believed the trio allegedly stole a Holden sedan from a Cairns car park on Friday night before driving to Clifton Beach and forcing entry to a bottle shop where a quantity of liquor was stolen.
They then continued their journey along the Captain Cook Highway before crashing just north of Rex Lookout about 1.30am.
The vehicle was extensively damaged and one of the alleged offenders injured his leg in the crash, leaving a trail of blood at every crime scene.
It is understood that they hitched a ride to Mossman where their crime spree continued on Saturday morning.
included Food Star Supermarket, Sara’s Hair Salon, Barber-Q, GMI and the National Bank, as well as one residential property, with extensive damage caused.
Mossman police are keen to hear from anyone who can shed some light on how the trio made it to Mossman from the Rex Lookout.
Mossman police Det Sgt Trevor Perham said that they were lucky to get out of the vehicle with little injuries.
The three alleged offenders appeared in the Cairns Magistrates Court this week where Riley and Ralston were granted bail.
Hammers did not apply for bail and was taken to Lotus Glen Correction Centre on remand.