Man faces 17 charges over alleged armed robbery spree
UPDATE 8.30AM: A man has been charged with 17 crimes over a string of armed robberies on the Sunshine Coast yesterday, allegedly involving the use of a shotgun.
The 25-year-old Maroochydore man allegedly fired a shotgun into the entrance of the Bellvista Tavern (which was empty at the time) in Caloundra West at 1.30am on Monday, tried to break into an ATM but left empty handed.
He then allegedly held up the BP Glenview Service Station, demanded cash from a man working inside then fled the scene before holding up a Hungry Jacks drive through at Glasshouse Mountains about 2am.
No one was injured in the alleged robberies, and police arrested the man during the execution of a search warrant at Alexandra Headland on Monday.
He was charged with two counts of armed robbery, deprivation of liberty and failing to stop, three counts of stealing and one count each of burglary, carrying a loaded weapon in a public place, possessing dangerous drugs, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a weapon (shotgun), enter premises with intent to commit an indictable offence, wilful damage and discharging a weapon in a public place.
He is due to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court this morning.
UPDATE TUESDAY 8.10AM: Police are interviewing at least one person in relation to a spree of armed robberies at the Coast.
A shot was fired through the front glass door of Bellvista Tavern in Caloundra West in the early hours of Monday morning.
A shotgun was then used to threaten staff members at BP Glenview service station and Hungry Jacks drive-thru at Glasshouse Mountains.
A police spokesman said more information was expected to be released throughout the day.
UPDATE MONDAY 1.35PM: A graveyard shift worker had just thrown some rubbish in a service station bin when his night took a dramatic turn.
A man, armed with a shotgun, got out of a sedan that had just pulled up.
He pointed the gun at the service station worker and marched him inside.
CCTV taken at the store about 1.45am Monday showed the worker empty cash from the till into a plastic bag and giving it to the robber.
The man then walked from the store and sped off onto Steve Irwin Way.
It was the second of three robberies which happened in quick succession in the early hours of Monday morning.
BP Glenview console operator Kellie Golder said her co-worker was shaken but alright.
"Apparently he had bullets and everything on his chest as well," Ms Golder said.
"So (it was) pretty serious."
She said her colleague had handled the situation well.
"He didn't get away with a lot of money."
Meanwhile, Bellvista Tavern owner Scott Armstrong was just grateful that no one was in the pub when a shot was fired through the front glass door about 15 minutes before the BP Glenview robbery.
He said the suburban tavern had closed about two hours before the incident.
"It looks like he was trying to go for the ATM," Mr Armstrong said.
He said the man left empty-handed after about four minutes.
The glass door was shattered and there were some shrapnel marks inside the pub.
Mr Armstrong said it was the most serious incident at the tavern since it opened nearly five years ago.
"It is surprising that it was a target."
UPDATE 9.50AM: A man pulled a shotgun on a takeaway drive-through attendant as part of a string of armed robberies overnight.
Police say the man made threats towards the attendant of a fast food outlet on the Bruce Hwy at Glass House Mountains to handover money from the till during the incident at about 2am.
The staff member complied and provided a sum of cash to the man.
It followed two earlier incidents, where the armed robber broke into a hotel and held up a service station.
Just after 1.30am he fired a shotgun into the entrance of a Rawson Street tavern at Caloundra West, gaining access to the premises.
The person tried to break into an ATM inside the tavern, however, was unsuccessful and left the address empty-handed. No one was inside the premises at the time.
Around 1.45am a man used a shotgun to hold up a service station on Steve Irwin Way at Glenview.
The male employee complied with his demands for cash and the man fled the scene.
No one was injured in any of the incidents.
Detectives believe all three offences are linked with a dark green/grey Holden Commodore (pictured in CCTV) with bumper bar damage sighted at each incident.
The man involved is described as being about 175cm tall with a slim build and distinctive tattoos on both hands.
He was wearing a tan vest, dark hooded jumper, blue jeans, red 'Nike' cap and had a black bandana covering his face.
Investigations are continuing.
EARLIER: At least one shot has been fired in a string of armed robberies of Coast businesses overnight.
The front glass door of the Bellvista Tavern is shattered this morning with some of the smaller holes suggesting bullets have passed through.
Police confirmed a shot was fired during the hold up.
BP Glenview on Steve Irwin Way was also robbed as well as a Hungry Jacks restaurant at Coochin Ck.
No injuries have been reported from the robberies.
Police believe the tavern was robbed first, then the service station and then the Hungry Jacks.
A staff member at BP Glenview said a console operator was threatened about 1.30am.
"The gentleman is a bit shaken but all good," the staff member said.
Police are reviewing CCTV of the incidents.
They are still looking for the person or people involved.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.