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Two taxi theft bandits get three years in jail

TWO Rockhampton men have been jailed for three years for leading a taxi driver to a remote rural road, holding a knife to him, duct-taping his hands and stealing his cab.

Timothy James John Burrows and Scott John Lodewikus were drunk and drugged up when they decided to steal the taxi on March 14.

The men, both 21, were taking speed together during the day before heading out for a drink.

The 60-year-old taxi driver dropped them to the Raffles Hotel and Burrows asked for his mobile phone number so that they could get a lift later in the night.

Around 3am Burrows phoned the driver and asked for a price for a taxi to Gracemere.

The cabbie picked the pair up but started to get suspicious when Burrows and Lodewikus changed their directions and asked to be taken to a remote road at Kabra.

Burrows pulled out a knife and yelled at the driver to stop and put his hands on the steering wheel.

“Co-operate or I’ll cut you to pieces,” Burrows said.

The cabbie got out of his taxi and walked around the car.

The men frisked him and removed his car keys, diary and tips.

As Burrows waved a knife in the cabby’s face, Lodewikus turned him around and duct-taped his hands together.

The pair jumped back in the cab and fled back to Rockhampton, leaving the cabbie stranded in the bush.

It didn’t take police long to arrest the two men.

On Tuesday, Burrows and Lodewikus pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court to armed robbery, deprivation of liberty and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Defence barrister Therese Ryan said Burrows told Lodewikus about plans to rob a taxi but that Lodewikus did not believe him.

Ms Ryan said he made the stupid decision to get in the taxi with Burrows and when a knife was pulled on the cabbie he “didn’t want Tim to do anything stupid and harm this bloke”.

Barrister Tom Polley said Burrows didn’t know why he had the knife in the taxi and told the court the duct tape was already in the cab.

Burrows also pleaded guilty to stealing $550 from the wallet of a man who was giving him a lift around Rockhampton only two days before robbing the taxi.

Both were jailed for three years. Because he’s already spent time in prison, Burrows will be eligible for release on December 10. Lodewikus, who was bailed earlier this year, will be eligible for release on April 16 next year.



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