HUNT FOR DRIVER: Scenes of Crime officer Senior Constable Malcolm Clark from Kingaroy dusts a stolen Land Cruiser for prints yesterday. The Land Cruiser, stolen from Rockhampton, crashed into a Gympie police car in Clematis Street Tuesday night.
HUNT FOR DRIVER: Scenes of Crime officer Senior Constable Malcolm Clark from Kingaroy dusts a stolen Land Cruiser for prints yesterday. The Land Cruiser, stolen from Rockhampton, crashed into a Gympie police car in Clematis Street Tuesday night. Craig Warhurst

Man rams police car

GYMPIE police are hunting a man who crashed into a highway patrol car with a stolen Toyota Land Cruiser in a bid to escape apprehension on Tuesday night.

Shift supervisor Sergeant Vic Tipman said a senior constable from the Gympie traffic branch was not injured in the collision.

Yesterday, police patrolled the Bruce Highway and truck stops and were looking out for hitchhikers. “This is a very serious offence,” Sergeant Tipman said.

About 10.10pm on Tuesday an officer patrolling the Bruce Highway ran a check on a maroon Landcruiser, which was travelling north on the Bruce Highway. The officer found the number plates on the vehicle had been reported stolen earlier in the month.

That lead him to follow the vehicle, whose driver immediately performed a U-turn at Pine Street and headed south on the highway after seeing police.

The 4WD’s driver went left into Jane Street and then left into Clematis Street where he stopped about 50 metres down the road.

After police pulled in behind the vehicle the driver accelerated quickly, U-turned and drove directly into the highway patrol unit. The Land Cruiser hit the police car in the front guard and driver’s side, which disabled the vehicle, Sgt Tipman said.

Police were unable to chase the offender, who drove off into Jane Street, heading toward the highway. But they later discovered the 4WD had crashed into a power pole, bringing down lines on Jane Street and the driver had run off on foot.

The offender was last seen heading south near the Shady Rest motel, Sergeant Tipman said.

“The suspect’s actions in this occasion were designed to disable the police car and stop the officer arresting the suspect.

“We can only pray that the event wasn’t designed to injure or kill the officer, but that is the subject of a further investigation,” he said.

Searches overnight on Tuesday did not find the man, but general duties police and detectives were following a number of leads yesterday.

Sgt Tipman said the officer involved could not be named and serious charges could be laid.

Police investigations subsequently found the Land Cruiser was stolen from Rockhampton on September 15.

A scenes of crime officer collected evidence yesterday. Both the Land Cruiser and the police car have irreparable damage.

The suspect was last seen wearing a dark shirt, jeans and a beanie.

Police are appealing for anyone who has seen the man or know of his whereabouts to contact them.

They are also asking for anyone who had their vehicle tampered with or stolen Tuesday or Wednesday nights to come forward and ring CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000 or the station on 5480 1111.

Gympie Times


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