Gunman gives up after siege
POLICE trapped an alleged armed robber in a Rockhampton unit ceiling yesterday to end a dramatic siege and a 27-hour crime spree. The 33-year-old will appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court today facing charges relating to an alleged high-speed car chase and two armed robberies.
The man surrendered peacefully soon after 9am, having barricaded himself into the ceiling of a second-storey Campbell Street unit for more than four hours.
Police allege that before his surrender he: Threatened staff while displaying a .22 revolver when holding up two Gladstone shops on Tuesday;
Reached speeds of more than 160kmh during a high-speed car chase from Gladstone to Rockhampton on the same night; and
Fired a shot as he hid in the unit ceiling after police discovered his whereabouts.
A 20-year-old Gladstone woman was also questioned by police yesterday about the incidents.
During the siege, residents in the eight-unit block and from near-by homes were evacuated about 5am as police cordoned off the area.
Rockhampton police Inspector Graham Coleman said the alleged crime spree began about 6am on Tuesday in Gladstone when the man held up a Mobil service station.
He later held up Hungry Jacks in Gladstone about 9pm. Small amounts of cash were taken in both robberies.
Police quickly found the Ford Falcon he was driving after the Hungry Jacks hold-up and a highspeed chase followed.
It took the man between 40 and 50 minutes to get from Gladstone to Rockhampton at speeds of more than 160kmh.
The young Gladstone woman was in the car with him.
Stingers (devices which are put across the road to stop a moving vehicle) were deployed on Lower Dawson Road, puncturing the car's two left-side tyres.
The man and woman pulled into a side street and ran.
Police caught up with the woman about 90 minutes later when she was located at a nearby home.
The man was found at the Campbell Street units about 5am. Three people, including a toddler, were in the unit when the man was found.
They were among the first to be evacuated and were taken out by a cherry picker.
A shot was fired after police found the man, although Inspector Coleman said "it was not directed at police''.
When police retrieved the sixshot gun, it still held four bullets.
Negotiators talked to the man for more than three hours before he surrendered.