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Flasher jailed after wild crime spree in a stolen car

IN JUST over two hours, Chow-Moy Topeto exposed himself to a young mother, stole a car while armed with a knife, drove dangerously at high speed in peak-hour traffic and tore through a packed factory.

Topeto, 26, faced Ipswich District Court and pleaded guilty to a string of offences committed between Corinda, Camira and Goodna on October 12 last year.

Topeto's defence barrister described the afternoon's events as "a bizarre set of circumstances, with him bouncing around like a ping-pong ball terrorising people all over the place".

It began outside a Corinda primary school when Topeto approached a woman in her car waiting to pick up her young children.

Crown prosecutor Chris Cook said Topeto propositioned the 32-year-old woman and exposed himself to her.

"She wasn't receptive to it and locked herself in the car," Mr Cook said.

Topeto then moved on to Camira to a secluded workplace where he brandished a Stanley knife at a 53-year-old man.

He stole the man's Holden Rodeo ute and crashed through a fence, before reversing out and driving away.

Topeto then took off at high speeds along busy Beaudesert Rd, Acacia Ridge on his way to Ipswich.

"The worst part of his dangerous driving was when he mounted the kerb and drove into oncoming traffic for 200m," Mr Cook told the court.

Twenty minutes later he crashed into a factory and reversed through the packed warehouse, with people being forced to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

"He then threatened someone else with a different knife before fleeing on foot. Detectives tracked him to an address in Sunnybank Hills where he was arrested," Mr Cook said.

Topeto pleaded guilty to armed robbery, dangerous operation and unlawful use of a motor vehicle, an indecent act in a public place and disqualified driving.

His barrister Peter Sloane said his client was heavily affected by drugs during the offending spree.

Since being held on remand, Topeto had undertaken extensive efforts to rehabilitate himself and had the strong support of his family to help him change his ways.

Topeto was sentenced to six years prison, and with time already served will be eligible to apply for parole on October 14 next year.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years.

Judge Deborah Richards said there was no reason Topeto shouldn't stay out of trouble when released.

Topics:  armed robbery dangerous operation of a motor vehicle ipswich district court



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