Elderly man lends police officer his bike to catch crim
AN ALLEGED BMX bandit is set to face a Sunshine Coast court after he was captured by police in a bizarre bicycle chase through Caloundra earlier this week.
A 32-year-old North Lakes man is facing 24 charges including dangerous driving, evading police and property and drug offences after being arrested in what became a comical pursuit on Tuesday.
Police finally ran down their man on Landsborough Parade at Golden Beach after an elderly man lent an officer a bicycle.
The alleged offender was on another bicycle, darting in and out of Caloundra's backstreets.
He was outrunning one officer who was on foot and getting into tight spots where another, who was pursuing in his patrol car, could not get through.
That was until a man, who was described as being in his 60s, saw the police struggling to keep up with their suspect and kindly offered his bicycle.
With the equal playing field, the police ran down their man shortly afterwards.
"The offender was gradually getting away," Senior Sergeant Gavin Ricketts said.
"They went past a man who was on a pushbike and he kindly offered it to the officer.
"He hopped on and pedalled after him."
The odd series of events unfolded after police noticed a suspicious ute on the Nicklin Way on Monday night. The ute sped off but the police did not pursue.
The following morning, a patrol crew spotted a man skateboarding through Caloundra with a petrol can.
When the officers followed him to his vehicle, they recognised it as the ute from the previous night.
He took off on foot and was almost stopped by a woman who hung out her arm in an attempted clothesline tackle, but slipped through.
The suspect was spotted two hours later by the same patrol unit, which nabbed the man the second time around, thanks to the new set of wheels.
Police found the alleged offender's ute laden with stolen property.