How to catch criminals with no leads
IT'S the million dollar question - how do police identify the driver of an armed robbery getaway vehicle with no leads from the evidence?
The question was raised during an interview with Detective Senior Constable Chris Griffin with The Morning Bulletin about how he and his partner Detective Senior Constable Adam Baillie solved a case with very little evidence.
The pair were awarded this week with District Officer's Certificates Operational for their work on the case where three people were charged and sentenced over an armed robbery of the Frenchville Newsagency on October 2, 2012.
They received the awards on Wednesday at the district police awards ceremony.
"Essentially, the three offenders left from a house nearby in a car. Drove there and the driver stayed in the car. Two people got out of the car. One acted as a look out just outside the newsagency and the other one went in armed with a rifle with balaclava,” Det Sen Cons Griffin said.
He said there was only one female attendant in there at the time as it was shortly after the shop opened.
The trio took a sum of money and drove off.
"We basically had nothing to go with,” Det Snr Cons Griffin said.
"Normally there's at least something to go with, whether it be forensic evidence, whether it be a witness other than the person who was held up.
"There was CCTV footage of the offence but it was poor quality and it was from a long way away. You could just make out that there was a figure with a gun and a lady standing behind the counter.
"It wasn't until a couple of months later that we managed to identify who the driver was, who was no longer living here.”
He hinted that the identification came via a person, and a tip via Crimestoppers.
Det Snr Cons Griffin said Det Sen Cons Baillie travelled to Townsville to speak to her.
"She managed to provide a bit of information,” Det Sen Cons Griffin.
He said the information she provided allowed police to identify the lookout and the shooter.
The woman was charged and provided police with a full statement.
However, she died before the matter went to court, but her statement was crucial in the conviction of the lookout and the armed robber.