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Robber targets pregnant woman, steals Uber driver’s car

A PREGNANT woman wrestled with a robber trying to stop him stealing her wallet after he jumped into her car outside a vet surgery.

The Ipswich mother-to-be was sitting in her parked car outside the veterinary surgery in Booval at 8.30pm when the robbery occurred.

Ipswich District Court heard that the offender was the same bandit who carjacked an Uber Eats delivery driver at 3am outside a McDonalds cafe, and robbed a liquor store in Goodna at knifepoint, the cool-headed sales lady telling him "Are you sure, Love?"

The offender, Charles Bell Riley, 24, from Stafford, pleaded guilty to serious charges of robbery with violence in Chermside on November 29, 2018; armed robbery of Beer Wine Spirts liquor store at 10am in Goodna on November 29, 2018; unlawfully entering a motor vehicle to steal in Booval at 8.20pm on December 12, 2018; and stealing from a person (wallet) in Booval on December 12.

The Crown prosecution facts reveal Riley walked up to a 34-year-old Uber Eats delivery driver at 3am in the carpark of a Chermside McDonalds causing the man to feel threatened saying "get back".

Riley punched him several times to the side of the head then snatched his van keys that were clipped to the front of his trousers.

He used the key to quickly get into the frightened man's blue LDV G10 van and drove away.

Seven hours later still driving the stolen van Riley arrived at BWS Goodna at 10am and went inside.

After walking down the aisles looking at bottles of alcohol Riley went to the service counter and pulled a knife out of his trousers pocket in his trousers demanding the female attendant to "empty the till".

He held the knife at waist height which was directed towards the woman.

An apparently very cool-headed woman said "Are you sure love? It's really not worth it. We haven't been open long".

But Riley again demanded that she "empty the till".

When the woman handed him $125 in notes, Riley demanded "I want the coins as well".

She emptied $50 worth of coins into a bag and Riley then grabbed two bottles of Jim Beam bourbon off a shelf worth $104 and walked out.

Investigating crime scene detectives were able to identify Riley from CCTV footage that shows a tattoo on his right arm and a circular scar tattoo on his left forearm.

The stolen van was located abandoned in Booval on November 30 with his DNA and fingerprints identified.

Riley struck again at 8.20pm on December 12 when he came across a woman sitting in her car outside the Booval Vet's.

She was 22 weeks pregnant when Riley walked up and opened the car door asking for a " light".

She told him "No" repeatedly and he lunged toward the centre console and grabbed her wallet and also her arm.

A struggle occurred with the woman trying tried to stop him from robbing her but she let go of the wallet and his arm with Riley running off into the night along South Station Road.

Police arrived and Riley was identified on Ipswich Safe City CCTV. Searching officers tracked him down inside the Racehorse hotel where he was arrested.

Riley was sentenced to three years jail for the armed robbery.

The court took into account that he'd been in jail since December 2018 (serving more than the minimal one-third) and gave Riley immediate eligibility to begin making his application for parole.



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