Pubs in NSW and Queensland were victims of armed robberies by amateurs over the weekend, shocking victims with firearms to secure small amounts of cash.
Just before midnight on Saturday, two men entered Spirit Hotels’ Hotel HQ in Logan, in south Brisbane. Armed with a sawn-off shotgun and a tomahawk, the pair demanded money from a male employee, who complied.
They fled the scene in a blue Ford sedan, which was discovered damaged half an hour later in an underground carpark.
Around 12:20, what police believe to be the same pair, were seen by witnesses and CCTV accosting an Uber driver in a nearby suburban street, beating him and reportedly pulling a knife before stealing his black Toyota.
Within minutes, they had crashed this car also and escaped on foot. The CCTV footage shows one of the pair was literally barefoot. The Toyota was seized for forensic examination, and police are continuing to investigate.
The following night around 10:30pm, two men wearing balaclavas entered the Mortdale Hotel, one apparently armed with a shotgun. They threatened employees and patrons and demanded cash.
The armed offender was then reportedly tackled by patrons and security, while the other fled in a white Mitsubishi waiting nearby. The apprehended man sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, and paramedics treated him on the scene before taking him to St George Hospital, where he remains under police supervision.
Police arrived at the Hotel and began conducting a search of the area, and report locating a vehicle a short time later they believed to be connected to the incident.
They arrested two men and a female passenger, although the woman was later released without charge, pending further inquiries.
The car was seized for forensic examination and inside were found a balaclava, gloves and a firearm.
The two men, aged 22 and 25, were charged with robbery while armed with a dangerous weapon. They were refused bail and will appear at Sutherland Local Court. The other will likely face related charges upon release from hospital.
The poorly prepared and executed crimes involving guns were typical of the kind of drug-inspired desperation more commonly seen in the US, and may be indicative of the rising problem of crystal meth (ice) dependence in Australia.