North Rockhampton Bowls Club
North Rockhampton Bowls Club Allan Reinikka

Armed thieves striking terror

ROCKHAMPTON'S business community is on high alert today after a third successive night of terror.

Staff at Hungry Jacks in Aquatic Place faced an attacker claiming to have a gun under his jacket about 10.50pm on Tuesday.

This follows two armed robberies at popular drinking establishments on Sunday and Monday nights. Police said the raider told Hungry Jack workers he had a gun and demanded cash.

It is alleged he left after taking a mobile phone, cigarettes and a lighter.

A man was arrested in Rockhampton about two hours later and appeared in court yesterday charged with two counts of robbery and one of attempted robbery.

But his arrest does not relieve the pressure on the city's night-time traders, police said.

Acting Inspector Paul Elliott said yesterday the man who faced court had no connection to the previous incidents and inquiries were continuing into the attacks at Raffles Hotel and North Rockhampton Bowls Club.

"We are still appealing for help with those inquiries, although we have received some leads," he said.

"We are treating the Raffles and bowls club robberies as separate incidents, but there is a possibility they are linked."

The officer said there were some striking similarities to indicate a single attacker was responsible for both raids.

In both cases a man wearing a balaclava mask and brandishing a knife approached staff and demanded cash.

Witnesses to both attacks described the raider as white and about 175cm tall.

The pub and bowls club are within a few minutes walk of each other.

But Acting Inspector Elliott said there were reasons to believe there were two men at large who were prepared to threaten or use extreme violence to steal cash.

He said officers were studying CCTV footage of both incidents and said images could be released later this week if there was not an early arrest.

Business owners and their staff are being urged to be extra vigilant and to plan how to respond to an armed raider.

The robber got away with "a substantial amount of cash" from Raffles and hundreds of dollars from the bowls club, leaving staff traumatised.

Anyone with information which could help police can give information anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at crimestoppers.com.au.

 

ROBBERIES

  • January 1, 1am, masked knifeman strikes at Raffles Hotel
  • January 2, 6pm, masked knifeman holds up North Rockhampton Bowls Club
  • January 3, 10.50pm, man claiming to have a gun enters Hungry Jacks, Aquatic Place.


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