CAR CHASE: 5 Gympie people arrested, charged over spree
LATEST Friday 11am: FIVE Gympie residents have been arrested and will face a total of more than 45 charges after Wednesday's police pursuit prompted a series of raids.
Four men and one woman have been arrested as part of Operation Papa Glimpse, which was launched after a police officer's leg was crushed between two cars as offenders fled the scene of an attempted robbery at Cooroy.
The operation focused on offences across the Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast areas including stealing, unlawful use of motor vehicles, arson and multiple robberies including the one at Cooroy that left a Sergeant in hospital.
Police raids in the Gympie area over the last 24 hours have uncovered two rifles, cash, drugs and drug paraphernalia, and a large amount of alleged stolen property including a motorcycle.
Arrests and charges:
- A 23-year-old Gympie man has been charged with over 30 offences including serious assault of a police officer, possession of firearms, possession of dangerous drugs and a number of stealing and driving related charges and is due in Gympie Magistrates Court today.
- A 25-year-old Gympie man has been charged with 10 offences including drug possession, possession of tainted property and driving related charges and is due in Gympie Magistrates Court today.
- A 28-year-old Gympie woman has been charged with one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and is due in the Gympie Magistrates Court on January 23.
- A 21-year-old Gympie man has been charged with one count each of robbery in company, unlawful use of a motor vehicle driving without a licence and is due to appear in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court today.
A 22-year-old Gympie man has been charged with three drug offences.
UPDATE Friday 9am: POLICE have laid more than 45 charges against five people allegedly involved in a string of robberies after Wednesday's police pursuit through Gympie.
A Queensland Police Service spokesman said the man who led officers on a dramatic chase through Gympie streets was one of the "main culprits", and the remainder were arrested on the Sunshine Coast.
The suspects were wanted for questioning over a series of crimes that could span the Sunshine Coast to Fraser Coast.
That included this week's robbery at Cooroy in which offenders drove into a police officer, crushing his leg between two cars.
After that incident, an operation was launched across police divisions to apprehend the suspects.
Police are expected to release more information today.
Links to spate of robberies up coast
POLICE believe Wednesday's car pursuit across Gympie could be linked to crimes spanning from the Sunshine Coast to the Fraser Coast.
Officers arrested a man at about 5.30pm on Wednesday after the police chase.
The man remained in custody yesterday, and police are expected to oppose the man's bail.
Police vehicles sustained damage during the pursuit, and a 52-year-old woman driving through the Gympie Central car park became an innocent victim when the suspect's car smashed into hers.
Residents reported seeing the pursuit on River Rd, Noosa Rd, Mellor St, Hughes Tce, Brisbane Rd, the Mount Pleasant Rd intersection, Pengelly's bridge and finally Watt St, where the man was apprehended.
Woman an innocent victim of dramatic pursuit
A Gympie shopper has described the moment a car involved in Wenesday's dramatic chase careened through a car park, colliding with a woman's car before fleeing the scene.
Kilkivan resident Julz Lewis was sitting in her parked car at the Gympie Central Shopping Centre when she saw a maroon car smash into a middle-aged woman driving a red Nissan Pulsar.
"The maroon car then went to flee, when out of nowhere a black 4x4 came flying around behind the woman in her red car and crashed into the maroon car and pushed it backwards," Ms Lewis said.
"The maroon car was still trying to drive away and a black/dark grey car parked behind and a heap of police officers jumped out with their hands ready to draw.
"The maroon car manoeuvered his way out of the two vehicles and took off and the police officers jumped back into their vehicles and chased after the maroon car."
Witnesses leapt to the aid of the 52-year-old woman driving the Pulsar.
"The poor lady who had been crashed into was in shock and had no idea what had just happened," Ms Lewis said.
"I spoke to 000 as did security and other witnesses and a few of us pushed the lady's car into the disabled car park and waited with her until the ambulance arrived, which was over half an hour.
"Security came and took photos of the car and broken glass and a cleaner came and cleaned it all.
"I picked up a broken car mirror that had come from the maroon car."
Meanwhile, police were still chasing the suspect through the Gympie area.
"While we were waiting for the ambulance to arrive we heard sirens, we saw the maroon car drive back past the shopping centre with several police cars behind it," Ms Lewis said.
"After the ambulance had arrived and I had left my contact details, we saw further up the road the maroon car had been caught.
Ms Lewis said the entire situation seemed unreal.
"It was quite shocking to see. I was in my parked car only a metre away from it all as it happened," she said.
"Not something you expect to see while grabbing some bread and milk."
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: A MAN has been arrested by police after a dramatic chase involving four police cars through the streets of Gympie believed to be linked to an incident in the car park at Central Shopping Centre earlier this evening.
Police have now set up a crime scene in Watt St, which is not far from the shopping centre.
The road has been closed to traffic and a police dog has been brought on to the scene.
Police are also interviewing potential witnesses.
One of the witnesses reports that police chased one of the vehicles up River Rd before it turned around and into Watt St where the pursuit came to an end with the crash, leaving the vehicle with significant damage, including the loss of its front left wheel.
Local residents reported hearing a "loud" pursuit near St Patrick's Primary School and College.
It is unclear if anybody has been injured, but emergency service workers have reported that the driver of one of the two vehicles involved has been taken into custody.
A red Nissan Pulsar believed to have been involved has received moderate damage and has come to rest in a handicapped parking bay out front of Michel's patisserie near Woolworths Supermarket in Central Shopping Centre.
There are some reports the chase started at East Deep Creek.