Citizens nab thieves
A group of teenagers robbing a Firth St dairy on Saturday got an unexpected surprise when two men took chase.
Police are commending the actions of these two men whose intervention led to the arrest of the four offenders at about 5.30pm.
Matamata Police Sergeant Graham Mcgurk said he was thrilled with the efforts of the locals.
‘‘While a driver and front seat passenger remained waiting in a car parked around the corner, two males aged 16 and 17 years old walked into the shop and confronted the owner armed with a wrench disguised as a firearm,’’ he said.
‘‘The owner activated an alarm and fled the store. Both offenders then tried to force the till before fleeing the shop with cigarettes. A neighbour saw the two offenders running away and, seeing their weapon was not actually a firearm, gave chase.’’
Mr Mcgurk said a motorist saw the chase.
Having seen the car parked around the corner and thinking it appeared suspicious the driver positioned his vehicle to prevent the offenders getting into the car, forcing them to continue running down the street.
‘‘The man then blocked the getaway car while the two robbers ran into the grounds of Matamata
passing College. The pair were chased through the school grounds and back on to the main road by Bedford Park and just managed to get into the car ahead of their pursuers but a registration number was obtained that was passed on to responding police.’’
The offenders drove off at speed heading north on State Highway 27 but were soon located.
‘‘The driver refused to stop and fled at speed travelling about 42km all the while throwing clothing and items taken in the robbery out of the car while a rear passenger attempted to get police to back off by pointing his imitation firearm-come wrench out the window.
‘‘The car was stopped near Pioneer Rd and the four occupants, one 16 and two 17-year-old males and a 16- year- old female were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery.’’
Mr Mcgurk said the driver also faces further charges of reckless driving, failing to stop and driving while suspended and all four were to appear in Hamilton Youth Court today.
‘‘While we urge people not to place themselves at risk these people were able to relay crucial information such as a description, the car’s registration number and type of weapon in a timely manner enabling us to make a quick arrest.’’