Police on scene where Rafael Santana's car was stolen
Police on scene where Rafael Santana's car was stolen

HERO: Brave bystander ends carjacking spree

A courageous bystander has brought a violent crime spree to an end after an alleged offender stole one vehicle and assaulted two women attempting to steal another.

The affair started at about 10:40pm Tuesday night at the Coles Express service station on Musgrave St, North Rockhampton.

Police were called to the scene to attend to a man "acting suspiciously" before he evaded police by stealing a vehicle and leaving at speed.

Shortly after, he dumped the car in Allenstown where he made his way to the Puma service station on George St.

He approached one lady filling her car and demanded the keys.

She refused and was assaulted as the offender tried to snatch her keys.

But to his surprise, the woman's husband was inside the shop and saw the assault unfold.

Immediately, he intervened.

Rafael Santana and his friend after last night's robbery
Rafael Santana and his friend after last night's robbery

The alleged offender then left on foot to the KFC restaurant next door where he attempted to steal a third vehicle.

A second female victim had just finished work and was having a cigarette outside her car when the man approached her, demanded her keys, and assaulted her.

This time he was successful, but his driving skills left much to be desired, stalling the car multiple times.

The man who had halted the offender's previous efforts leapt in to action for a second time.

He pulled the offender from the car and detained him until police arrived to make the arrest.

Neither victim required treatment, but Detective Senior Constable Chris Green said they were shaken up as to be expected.

Det Green described the actions of the vigilante as "courageous" and "to be commended" but reminded the public that dealing with offenders should remain a matter for the police.

"We wouldn't advise getting involved that much. You never know that these people may have on them," he said.

Rafael Santana's Blue Ford
Rafael Santana's Blue Ford

"However, he's done an exceptional job in this case."

Initial reports from Rafael Santana, the owner of the stolen car in North Rockhampton, suggested three armed offenders were involved in the incident but Det Green said police were only aware of one offender.

The alleged offender, Travis Anderson 27, appeared in court today on two counts of attempted robbery, one count each of stealing of a motor vehicle, assault occasioning bodily harm, possession dangerous drugs, unlicensed driving and fail to stop vehicle but was adjourned to tomorrow.


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