FAMILIAR FACE? Police have released this comfit image of a man wanted in relation to several robberies on the Gold Coast. The ?
FAMILIAR FACE? Police have released this comfit image of a man wanted in relation to several robberies on the Gold Coast. The ?

Hard times bandit apologises

By RENEE REDMOND

A GOLD Coast bandit is a suspect behind the robberies of two credit unions in Lismore.

Lismore police believe a white Ford Falcon, which was seen at each of the three Gold Coast robberies, was also seen outside the Southern Cross Credit Union and Bananacoast Credit Union when they were hit earlier this month.

Senior Constable Dave Mackie could neither confirm nor deny reports of the bandit being the Gold Coast man who has been named the 'hard times' bandit.

However, he said there were a number of similarities.

"It's hard to say if they're linked," he said yesterday.

"We've been liaising with the Queensland Police about the similarities in the robberies and are still looking for suspects.

"Sometimes offenders come down from South-East Queensland."

At each of the three Gold Coast robberies the bandit said: 'I'm sorry but times are tough' before fleeing the scene.

However, Snr Const Mackie said no such apologies had been made to the tellers at Southern Cross on June 10 or Bananacoast on June 14 in Lismore.

Police have also identified similarities in the bandit's appearance and actions.

During the Southern Cross Credit Union robbery, they said the bandit was armed with a pair of scissors when he demanded the teller put money in a plastic bag.

During the Bananacoast Credit Union robbery, the teller did not see a weapon, however, a weapon was seen on the security footage.

At each of the Gold Coast robberies the man was described as being about 25 years old, 178cm tall, with a fair complexion and short, dark hair.

He struck the Pappas Way General Store in Carrara on May 10, using a knife as his weapon.

On May 20 he reportedly held up the McLaren Road Convenience Store at Gilston, armed with a meat cleaver.

Snr Const Mackie urged anyone who may have seen a white EA model Ford Falcon outside the Lismore credit unions at the time of the two robberies to contact Lismore police on 6623 1599.



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