The great escape (capture) at Tin Can Bay

On December 7, at approximately 5pm police received a number of calls about a male person acting suspiciously in a vehicle and was last reported stopped in the middle of an intersection causing cars to drive around him.

Police arrived and stopped behind the vehicle, when they went to get out from the car the driver in front accelerated away and then turned into the carpark of the Tin Can Bay Marina, speeding through the marina carpark which was quite busy at the time.

The suspect car was seen to go past the last car park exit, driving into a dead end where it rammed the chain link fence gate however the vehicle became stuck in the fence after repeated attempts to drive through it.

The suspect driver then jumped out of the car wearing only boxer shorts and scaled the chain link fence hotly pursued by officers who scaled the fence after him.

Both officers tracked the suspect driver through mudflats in knee deep water for a couple of hundred metres, only to see him swim out to a houseboat and whilst pondering on the merits of swimming after him they saw the driver jump into a small tender and motor away.

Two young locals came to the aid of police and picked them up in a small tinny and motored after him down Snapper Creek. Not gaining on the suspect driver another local came by in a faster vessel so they jumped into it and continued the pursuit.

Whilst this was occurring the Brisbane Water Police happened to be in the area and headed down Snapper Creek at full steam lights ablaze also following.

The suspect driver then ran aground on the opposite side of Snapper Creek which is part of the Army Training ground. After futile efforts to free the boat from the sandbank the suspect driver decided again to escape by foot running through knee deep water and into bushland.

Not deterred by both officer, they jumped from the pursuing boat and waded through knee deep water in hot pursuit. The foot chase ended about one kilometre into thick scrub in the training ground.

With darkness approaching the officers decided that getting back out of the bush before darkness was a higher priority than continuing to chase the driver. Both officers were very relieved when they came out of the bushes to see a water police vessel waiting for them.

The following morning police received reports that a male person was swimming across Snapper Creek and as locals watched the progress of the swimmer and they kept police in the loop.

The alleged suspect driver entered a local holiday unit reception area where he was apprehended by police. He offered no resistance and seemed happy for police to arrest him.

After getting the all clear from QAS the alleged offender was transported to the Gympie watch house where he was charged with Evade Police, Dangerous operation of a vehicle, Unlawful use of a vessel and Wilful damage offences. He will appear in Gympie Magistrates Court January 7 2019.

Police would like to thank the many locals who assisted police in particular the cheers and encouragement offered by a large gathering of people on the veranda of a house on Oyster Parade who had a bird’s eye view of the action.

The actions of our local police officers demonstrate the length they will go to catch their man.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1802294673

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