Erratic driving gives thieves away

A GROUP of daredevils had their sights set on Rockhampton after they stole $1200 worth of alcohol from Gympie and took off in a stolen car.

They could have got away with it, too, if Martin Ryan’s driving wasn’t so erratic.

The stolen car was spotted by police near Calliope, 110 kilometres south of Rockhampton, swerving across the Bruce Highway and travelling at speeds up to 190kmh on Sunday.

Ryan was also intoxicated. Police attempted to intercept the stolen car at 5.40pm and watched as it sped off and overtook other motorists on double lines.

The pursuit was terminated because of the dangerous circumstances.

The group of five spent the night hiding out at Archer and hitched a ride on a coal train to Rockhampton on Monday.

Ryan and one of the co-offenders, Bernard John Matthews, were finally caught in Callaghan Street, Rockhampton on Tuesday at 2pm.

On Wednesday the pair appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court but could not offer an excuse for their crime spree.

Matthews, 19, pleaded guilty to stealing the alcohol from the Thirsty Camel in Gympie and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Ryan, 22, pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a motor vehicle, failing to stop, unlicensed driving, stealing cigarettes and receiving stolen property.

Defence solicitor Shayne Studdert said Ryan was co-operative with police and wasn’t the person who stole the vehicle originally.

He was yesterday fined $2000 for his offences.

Matthews was fined $1700.

Gympie Times

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