Crackdown call follows attacks on two cabbies

LATEST: The assaults of two taxi drivers and theft of their cars in two days has seen calls for harsher penalties to prevent future attacks.

A taxi was stolen in Redbank Plains on Sunday, before another was chased down by police on Monday morning after being stolen from Woodridge.

On Monday three teenagers were charged with attacking a driver in Woodridge in the early hours of Monday morning.

The vehicle was tracked by multiple police cars and intercepted near the Oz Fuel service station, Willowbank about 6am.

Police deployed stingers causing one tyre to deflate and causing the driver, travelling at high speed, to crash into the back of a police car.

Two of the three men charged with the offence appeared in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on Monday.

Shaun Darryl Tetau, 18, was remanded in custody and will apply for bail on Wednesday, while Edin Sabanovic, 19, was granted bail and will be back in court on Monday, July 22. Tetau is currently serving a suspended sentence for a similar offence.

The third was granted bail by police and will appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court on Tuesday, July 23.

The theft came only a day after a man was arrested after allegedly punching a taxi driver in the face in Redbank Plains and stealing his car.

Inala man Martin Fiare Tavui was charged with robbery with actual violence, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, failing to stop, wilful damage and two counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle. His matter was adjourned until July 31. He did not apply for bail.

Transport Workers' Union State secretary Peter Biagini said more had to be done to protect vulnerable targets like drivers.

"For too long bus and taxi drivers have been an easy prey for these cowardly attacks and for too long the government has not done anything," he said.

 

2PM: Police have charged three men in relation to an incident that occurred this morning, starting in Woodridge and ending on the Cunningham Highway at Willowbank.

At around 5.20am three men allegedly assaulted a taxi driver and stole his taxi at an address in Smith Street, Woodridge.

The vehicle was then tracked to the Cunningham Highway, where a tyre deflation device was successfully deployed. A police vehicle sustained minor damage when it attempted to stop the taxi.

An 18-year-old Wavell Heights man has been charged with multiple offences. Specifically, one count each of robbery with violence whilst in company, unlawful use of motor vehicle, willful damage, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle whilst adversely affected (0.175%), fail to stop motor vehicle and driving without license.

He will appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court this afternoon.

Two 19-year-old men from Stretton and CoopersPlains were charged with one count each of robbery with violence whilst in company, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and willful damage.

One of the 19-year-olds will appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court this afternoon and the other on 23 July 2013.

 

9AM: A second stolen taxi was intercepted by police on the Cunningham Highway this morning, following a separate incident on Sunday.

The cab was stolen from Woodridge in the early hours of Monday morning. The vehicle was tracked and caught by police south of Champions Way at Willowbank about 6am.

A 23-year-old Inala man will face Ipswich Magistrates Court today after he allegedly assaulted a male taxi driver and stole his vehicle at Redbank Plains yesterday.

Police said the man entered the taxi at a Redbank Plains shopping centre before directing the cab to drive to Willow Rd about 12.50pm.

He then allegedly struck the 56-year-old driver in the face before fleeing in the vehicle. Police located the taxi a short time later.

The man was charged with two counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle and one count each of robbery while using personal violence, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, wilful damage and failing to stop a vehicle

The taxi driver was transported to Ipswich Hospital with facial injuries.



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