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Police make first arrest after hammer attack on taxi driver

UPDATE, 6AM: One of the four youths allegedly involved in the armed robbery of an Ipswich taxi driver in North Ipswich has been arrested by police.

The teenager was detained in North Ipswich at 9am yesterday following the robbery of a 28-year-old driver at 2.45am on Sunday.

He is not believed to be the youth who hit the taxi driver on the head with a hammer six times.

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"We have detained one person who is a person of interest in the armed robbery," Inspector Keith McDonald said.

"And we are making inquiries to locate the other three."

Police conducted a search for the group on Monday night but they were not at their last known address

Footage from inside the taxi confirmed who police thought the offenders were.

Insp McDonald said the three youths still at large would be apprehended.

"We are hot on their tails so to speak," he said.

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"These kids are transient.

"The stay one place one night and then at somebody else's place another night.

"But we will find them."

He praised the quick actions of the taxi driver, whose quick thinking may have saved his life.

"The fact that he locked the door and only wound the driver's side window down half-way, probably saved him from far worse injuries so he is a very lucky man."

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6AM, TUESDAY: The hunt is on for four teenagers after a savage attack on a taxi driver at North Ipswich in the early hours of Sunday morning.

One of the youths struck the 28-year-old driver six times on the head with a hammer while demanding money.

The attackers, three males and a female, are described as caucasian between the ages of 15 and 16.

The driver received a call around 2.45am to go to an address in Connors St, North Ipswich, but there was no-one home.

He was then approached by the youths

He locked the door of the cab and put his driver's side window half-way down. The youths then asked him to give them a lift to Tivoli.

He said he would if they gave him a deposit.

The driver was then hit six times on the head with a hammer by one youth while two of the others went to the front passenger door and attempted to smash the window to gain entry.

The youths continued to demand money while the driver was under attack. They stole several hundred dollars before the driver was able to get away in his cab.

Shortly afterwards, he was treated by ambulance officers. He was taken to Ipswich Hospital with head injuries and has since been released.

Police obtained CCTV footage from the taxi yesterday and have footage of the offenders.

Ipswich Yellow Cabs fleet manager Debbie Morrison said the driver was recuperating at home yesterday.

"He's very shaken but he is at home which is the main thing," she said.

"It could have been a whole different outcome.

"He could have been dead in the morgue.

"It is a disgusting attack.

"No attack is nice. It doesn't matter how severe it is or how minor.

"You shouldn't have to see any attacks on any drivers

"They are making a living and taking people to and from.

"It shouldn't happen."

The company goes out of its way to provide safety systems for its drivers.

Internal cameras are installed and will be a major assistance to police.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was saddened by the attack and that the offenders should be dealt with severely.

"It is sad this has happened in Ipswich but this is what is happening to taxi drivers throughout Australia," he said.

"Yellow Cabs do a fantastic job in Ipswich. The whole taxi industry in Ipswich has always been there to support the community.

"Two things have got to happen. We've got to catch these morons first.

"Then the judiciary system needs to get tough. The book should be thrown at them ... and then we throw away the key.

"If anyone has got any information, please come forward so we can put these morons behind bars."

One of the males was wearing a white T-shirt.

Inspector Keith McDonald said he was concerned with the level of violence in the incident and that police investigations were continuing

"If anyone saw anything suspicious between 2.30am and 3am in Connors St on Sunday morning, they should contact Crimestoppers," Insp McDonald said.

*Call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000. Information is anonymous.

Topics:  crime hammer taxi



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