Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay with the stolen car used in the crime spree.
Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay with the stolen car used in the crime spree. Rob Wright

'Bonnie & Clyde' crime spree

THEY are a modern day Bonnie and Clyde.

A man and a woman have been arrested in dramatic circumstances in Coffs Harbour after allegedly trying to run down two police officers in a hectic pursuit.

Before that, the couple had robbed three stores getting away with up to $1300, police allege.

Their crime spree began in Queensland on Wednesday when they allegedly stole a white Hyundai sedan from the Stradbroke Ferry Terminal at Cleveland.

They then drove to the McDonald's restaurant at Ballina's Brampton Street at 1am on Sunday where the man used a jemmy bar to smash the drive-through window and stole cash from the register, police allege.

The couple then drove to Video Ezy in Woolgoolga's Fawcett Street at 12.30pm that day and the man allegedly grabbed the cash register from the counter.

He produced a screwdriver when a male employee challenged him, police allege.

The man allegedly threatened the staff member before fleeing from the store with the register, which contained cash.

Police allege the pair entered Video Ezy at the Bailey Centre in Coffs Harbour at 7.30pm on Sunday and while the woman distracted staff, the man allegedly stole cash from the register and they fled in their vehicle.

Shocked eye-witnesses gave police details of the getaway car which they found in Park Avenue shortly after.

Police chased the car into Nimbin Place where it smashed into a fence. The man re-started the vehicle and the couple allegedly tried to evade capture by driving at the two officers who had stepped out of their vehicle.

The officers had to jump out of the way to avoid being run over and the pursuit continued into Gordon Street, where the Hyundai slammed into a parked car.

Police arrested the woman at the scene. Her partner ran off but he was caught nearby.

They were taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station to be interviewed and a search of their vehicle allegedly revealed a cash register, cash and a screwdriver.

Detectives, highway patrol police and general duties officers were involved in the dramatic pursuit.

Queensland man Christopher James Burgess, 24, faced court yesterday on nine charges including armed robbery, break and enter, possess stolen property, larceny, resisting police, reckless driving and using an offensive weapon. He pleaded guilty to mid-range drink-driving.

Queensland woman Stacey Jane Topia, 20, was in court on four charges including possessing stolen property, larceny and robbery in company. She pleaded guilty to car theft.

Both were remanded in custody to reappear in court on November 24.

“These arrests were the result of excellent police work by the two police officers who found the car in Park Avenue,” said Coffs/Clarence crime manager, Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay.

“They were able to apprehend these two people without injury to themselves or members of the public. It was very good work by all police involved.”

  • WOOLGOOLGA'S Video Ezy staff are still reeling from the armed hold-up.

One staff member who didn't want to be named said a woman walked in and distracted him by taking him to the back of the store and asking for help.

He said as he headed back to the front a man came in and went to the staff area and grabbed the till which had a couple of hundred dollars in it and went to leave.

“Then he went to run out and that's when I was there and he pulled a weapon out and it could have been a knife,” the employee said.

“I don't know what it was but he definitely had something in his right hand.

“It hit me when I got to the police and when I got home and went to bed I couldn't sleep.”

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