Four Sunshine Coast residents have been presented with Australian Bravery Awards for stopping an armed robbery
Four Sunshine Coast residents have been presented with Australian Bravery Awards for stopping an armed robbery Tessa Mapstone

Violent armed robbery prevented by four Coast heroes

KARL Dunbar was shopping for pizza toppings with his young daughter when he heard a scream from the checkouts.

A man armed with scissors, buzzed out of his mind, was attempting to rob the Maroochydore IGA on June 30, 2014.

If not for Mr Dunbar and the actions of another three brave locals, the robbery would have gone to plan.

Supermarket staff Patricia Comerford and Robert Cook stopped the man from grabbing cash and attempted to forcefully hold the offender.

The assailant lashed out with a syringe and both staff members were injured.

READ: Shoppers hold Maroochydore IGA cash-grab robber.

Mr Dunbar and Currimundi's Nicholas Rawlin reacted when other shoppers looked on idly.

"I basically saw red, it is my natural reaction to help," Mr Dunbar said.

"I told my daughter to stay at the chiller where we were and just went over.

"The man was attacking a woman old enough to be his mother. It was 4.30pm in the afternoon at a family environment.

"But it is disappointing that that can happen at a place like this."

The men pinned the offender to the floor and maintained their hold despite his resistance until police arrived.

Today, all four have been commended for their brave actions and will be awarded medals.

While Mr Dunbar is proud to accept the award, he says the drug crisis on the Coast needs immediate attention.

"It really is a serious issue, a rampant issue and it needs to be stopped," he said.

"The poor police, it is all they're doing, dealing with drug problems and the courts are a revolving door.

"Is there funding going into research to prevent the cravings? I don't know, but there should."


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