An opportunistic thief was sprung in the act in ALH’s Vale Hotel, prompting threats with a handy steak knife and escape with a Wild Turkey down his pants.

The would-be thief was seen trying to get into the cash register in the dining area, around 1am on Saturday. Confronted by security and staff, he reportedly jumped the counter holding two bottles of spirits and grabbed a steak knife from a table.

After shoving one of the bottles into his trousers, he ditched the other and fled to the carpark, escaping on a bicycle.

Detective Sergeant Tony Flanders from Townsville Police advised no-one was hurt, but issued a call to the public for information.

Around 10am Sunday an 18-year-old man flagged down police, apologising and admitting to the crime.

He was remanded in custody, charged with armed robbery and enter premises to commit an indictable offence, and will face Court today (15 August).

The Vale Hotel is open every day until 3:30am, but dining ceases at 9pm.

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