Topics:  gunman, hold-up, service station

Gunman holds up four servos

Marc Stapelberg

POLICE are investigating a possible link between a string of armed robberies committed at petrol stations across Ipswich.

The hunt is on for a gunman who police believe could be responsible for four different raids.

The United Fuels shop at Springfield has been robbed twice - once on April 7 and once on May 8 - and police are trying to ascertain whether or not the same bandit was responsible for similar robberies at the BP service station in Eastern Heights on April 8, and the Matilda service station at Willowbank early yesterday morning.

In the latest robbery, a man carrying a handgun under his clothing followed a customer into the Cunningham Hwy store about 3.15am.

Detective Senior Sergeant Gary Dixon said the robber took a carton of milk from the fridge and waited until the other customer walked out.

"He then put the milk on the counter and produced the handgun from under his clothing,' Snr Sgt Dixon said.

The offender left with an undisclosed sum of cash.

The main link between the robberies was the use of the black handgun, which can be seen clearly in closed circuit television footage taken from each of the four incidents.

Police received slightly varying descriptions of the person on each occasion. However, there was some consistency in the reports.

In each case he was described as Caucasian, and between 175 and 180cm tall.

Different clothing was worn during each of the robberies. The bandit wore a balaclava during the hold-ups at BP service station and United Fuels on May 8.

The firearm was not discharged during any of the offences and none of the victims was physically harmed.

Snr Sgt Dixon said witnesses to the last of the robberies reported seeing a white sedan, possibly a Commodore, parked nearby.

"What we're asking for is for information from anyone who saw a similar vehicle near the scene that may have looked suspicious," he said.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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