Knife-wielding teen’s morning crime spree ends in cuffs
A YOUNG man is in police custody after he was believed to have held up a service station before fleeing to another suburb and robbing an 80-year-old woman this morning.
Police will allege the 19-year-old man attempted to rob the Aussie World Garage while armed with a knife about 4.45am before fleeing on foot and leaving his bicycle behind.
Sunshine Coast CIB Acting officer-in-charge Tim Byrnes said a man wearing a hood and cap arrived at the servo on a bicycle and approached the cashier inside.
CCTV shows the teen entering the store and walking through the shelves before approaching the counter, "fiddling with chocolates" and asking for cigarettes.
When asked to show ID, the offender pulled a knife out of a bag and threatened the staff member.
Aussie World Garage owner Steve Amos said the staff member hit the offender's arm away, causing him to "spook" and flee the scene on foot, leaving his bike behind.
Police searched the surrounding areas this morning and arrested the man at a Palmview home about 10am.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mick Doogue, of the CIB, said police believed the man was also linked to a robbery in Caloundra this morning.
He said the 80-year-old woman was on a morning walk when the teen allegedly approached her and robbed her.
Mr Amos said it was "disappointing" to see businesses being targeted by thieves in an already difficult time.
"Small businesses, big businesses, everyone's doing it tough," he said.
He said the staff member did "everything he should" when he was threatened with the knife, but was understandably shaken up.
"He did all the right things to make sure that he was safe," he said.
Mr Amos said at that time in the morning the door to the service station would normally be closed, but due to coronavirus safety measures it was left open.
"We normally would have everything shut up and just allow people who purchase fuel to come in," he said.
"Obviously with all the COVID-19 stuff, we've taken to leaving the door open so people don't have to touch it.
"This (attempted theft) was just opportunistic."
He said they would keep the door closed in the early mornings from now on, providing hand sanitiser for customers.
The teen is assisting police with inquiries and no charges have been laid at this stage.