Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Gun-Toting Robber's Origin Heist

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Gun-Toting Robber's Origin Heist

Article excerpt

Byline: Melanie Plane

FIFTEEN minutes into game two of State of Origin, while almost everyone was engrossed in the match, a man dressed in black wearing a mask and gloves walked into the Gracemere Domino's store holding a long-arm rifle.

He pointed it at the young staff member behind the counter of the busy pizza store, made violent threats and demanded cash. With the contents of the register in hand, he fled the scene.

It's a crime Rockhampton detectives believe was calculated, and is potentially linked to the theft of three long-arm rifles in the area over the weekend.

OIC Rockhampton CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey said police were called to the pizza store on Middle Rd about 8.15pm Wednesday after being alerted to an armed robbery at the business.

"It appears he has entered the store, pointed the rifle at one of the employees there and demanded the cash," Det Snr Sgt Peachey said.

"It would appear there was some level of planning. The fact that it was State of Origin night, that it was probably 20 minutes after the State of Origin had kicked off so most people would have already arrived and picked up their pizzas, the fact it was probably a very busy night and he probably thought there was going to be a fair amount of cash on hand there.

"We were quite lucky as they had just recently done a cash drop so there was only about $200 cash that was taken.

"We deployed resources there immediately and the dog squad were on hand there straight away but unfortunately due to the amount of foot traffic going through there we were unable to get a track. We threw all of our resources at it and will continue to throw our resources at it; it's a top priority."

Det Snr Sgt Peachey said while thankfully no one was injured in the incident, the offender threatened staff with the firearm.

"For the young kids in the store who work there, it's very concerning that a firearm was used and was threatened to be used so we will be treating this with the highest amount of investigation we can throw at this job," he said.

"The fact that this person has shown a propensity to use violence and threatened to use violence is very concerning. …

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