IT'S one thing to steal, but Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Moon yesterday described assaulting an innocent employee as "utterly disgraceful".
"We will not tolerate it," he said.
His comments come after a 24-year-old man allegedly took a jar of coffee from the Northside Plaza Woolworths before assaulting a security officer with a chair on Wednesday night.
The man was confronted by the security officer when he tried to leave the store without paying.
He then allegedly hit the 32-year-old victim with a chair and threw a few punches at him.
Det Snr Sgt Moon said members of the public intervened and assisted in the apprehension of the man.
He said the chair was made from a combination of steel and plastic.
The victim suffered minor injuries.
The offender was charged with one count of robbery with personal violence.
He was released from the watch house and will face court next month.
Earlier this week, 28-year-old Gilbert Andrew Purcell was sentenced in the Rockhampton District Court to two and a half years jail for stealing a bottle of softdrink from a servo and punching a shop attendant in the face.
Det Snr Sgt Moon said it was a warning to the rest of the community.
"A person doing their job in their employment... to have this person come along and hit them with a chair is reprehensible," he said.
"Stealing is bad enough, but to assault someone to affect your purpose you go from an offence of stealing to an offence of robbery where you could face life imprisonment.
"People need to keep that in mind. Violence will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form and we will prosecute those people."
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