GYMPIE ROBBERIES: Violent, clever, laughable
FROM organised, armed hold-ups to opportunistic thieves, the Gympie region has seen its fair share of burglaries in recent years.
Here's a list of just some of the burglaries, attempted robberies and armed hold ups from around the region in recent years.
Data released by the LNP this month showed in the Wide Bay Burnett police district robberies have increased 71 per cent, shop stealing 66 per cent, and armed robberies 51 per cent from 2015.
Elderly woman targeted in armed hold up
Armed thieves threatened a 61-year-old woman with a metal baton during the robbery of a takeaway shop in Gympie in January this year.
Two men entered Ginger's on Horseshoe convenience store about 5.15am one morning and threatened the woman, a staff member at the Horseshoe Bend store, with the baton and demanded money and cigarettes before leaving on foot.
Machete-wielding thief holds up servo
CCTV footage captured the terrifying moment an armed man stormed a Glenwood service station and threatened customers and staff with a machete in late 2016.
The man demanded the store attendant put the register's money in a bag, and made off with about $1500.
With stolen cash in hand, he jumped into a blue sedan emblazoned with "cop hunter" on the bonnet (which appeared to have scouted the service station out before the incident) and sped off with an accomplice.
Cooloola duo's botched robbery of elderly taxi driver
Zebulen Charles Campbell, 28, had been drinking with his co-accused on the night of April 26, 2016, when they decided to call a taxi with the intention of buying more alcohol.
The duo entered the back of the cab in their hoodies, and the driver was told to turn the lights off, and the co-accused demanded "give us your f------ money" multiple times.
The driver believed the pair had a knife and told them he had spray and picked up a can, causing them to flee the taxi.
Campbell later denied he had been involved in the robbery and wasn't arrested until November 2017.
Armed robber foiled by staff with more knives
In late 2016 a man allegedly went into a Gympie Road fast food restaurant and showed a 46-year-old staff member a note saying he was armed with a knife.
The staff member has then allegedly picked up two knives and showed them to the would-be robber.
The man has then fled the scene, but was later detained by police who located him with a knife.
'Friendly' thief strikes servo
A "friendly" armed robber held up a Gympie service station in an "unusual" attack with a boning knife in November last year.
The man, who was wearing dark clothing and had his face covered, walked into the Caltex Woolworths Service Station on Wickham Street with a knife at least 30cm long.
CCTV footage shows the store was empty of customers when the alleged offender placed the large knife on the counter and demanded cash from the attendant, and the offender left with hundreds of dollars on foot.
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Stealing grandma denies she's a kleptomaniac
A Tin Can Bay grandmother with a history of stealing dating back to the 1970s, faced a Gympie court after stealing a wallet and $270 in cash.
Earlier this year, Debra Anne Pedley, 61, swiped a wallet from the counter of a newsagency in Tin Can Bay after a customer before her left it behind.
Pedley pleaded guilty to the offence, which was caught on camera, but claimed she did not remember why she took the wallet as she was on three different medications at the time.
Serial thief in action throughout the region since 2002 jailed
A serial burglar who committed a string of robberies in the Gympie region targeting businesses, venues and homes between 2002 and 2019 was finally caught and jailed.
Craig Anthony Wilson, 44, stole from bowls clubs, elderly people and farms during his ongoing crime spree, and was charged after fingerprints left behind at some of the crime scenes tied him to the offences. He fled to NSW in 2003 to avoid capture, but committed offences again 2019 upon returning to Gympie, and was caught by police. He pleaded guilty in Gympie District Court this year and was jailed.