A teenager’s crime spree ended when a pub owner and manager called his bluff trying to hold up the hotel with a replica gun.

17-year-old Mitchell Arthur Watts has been charged with counts of armed robbery – the third being an attempt to hold up Toowoomba’s Fiveways Hotel bottleshop on Wednesday night.

Fiveways Hotel_Toowoomba_frontage_web_crp_adjThe drive-through bottleshop was being manned by owner Hamish Guy, who observed a man wearing a hoodie walk up pointing a gun. Guy told The Chronicle that looking at the weapon, he was “pretty confident it wasn’t real – just plastic”.

Duty manager Adam Davey had been alerted by another employee, and watching the man pointing the weapon at Guy also thought it looked plastic.

Guy was stalling on the demand to open the register and put cash in a plastic bag the man had placed on the counter, and as the duty manager made his presence known the young bandit swung around threatening “I’m going to f**king kill you”.

Davey challenged “not with that you’re not, buddy” – upon which the bandit realised his bluff was called – retrieved his plastic bag – and took flight. Both Davey and Guy pursued, and he was tackled nearby and held until police arrived.

Both men say they would not have acted the way they did if they weren’t so confident the gun was not real, and by the offender’s subsequent behaviour.

The man had allegedly used the replica gun to commit two previous robberies: a store earlier in the week, and a shop just minutes before his attempt at the Fiveways.

He appeared briefly in Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday. No application was made for bail.

Magistrate Damian Carroll set a committal mention of all charges for 19 February, 2016.


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