THE brazen theft of engagement rings valued at $14,000 in Warrnambool yesterday afternoon and a Colac man being held up with a smashed stubby kept south-west police busy on the weekend.
Nanjing Night Net

Warrnambool police were yesterday on the lookout for a dark coloured 2002 Holden Commodore station wagon after the theft of rings from Michael Hill Jewellers at Gateway Plaza.

Detective Senior Constable Damian Coutts, of the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit, said that just after noon yesterday a man and woman went to the jewellers and asked about engagement rings.

He said a retail assistant then allowed the couple to look at rings. She was then distracted and the man grabbed two of the rings and fled from the store.

“A security guard in the area has chased the man on foot. He’s confronted the thief and the offender has handed back the rings,” Detective Senior Constable Coutts said.

“The male offender has been observed jumping into a 2002 Holden Commodore station wagon and the security guard noted the registration plates of the vehicle.”

Police inquiries revealed the station wagon was owned by a Mount Gambier woman and her de facto partner matched a distinctive description of the offender provided by staff and confirmed through security camera footage.

Officers then got in contact with the man they wished to speak to in relation to the theft and asked him to attend at the Warrnambool police station.

In Colac, a would-be armed robber holding the remains of a smashed stubby twice harassed a man and then bashed him early on Saturday.

Detective Senior Constable Mick Palmer, of the Colac police crime investigation unit, said a Colac man left a city hotel at 1am Saturday and went to the toilets on Gellibrand Street.

“He’s left the hotel to walk home and has gone to the toilets where he was confronted by a man who demanded he hand over his wallet,” he said.

“The victim has refused.

“The offender has then smashed a stubby and while holding onto the remains of the stubby again demanded the victim hand over his wallet.”

Detective Senior Constable Palmer said the victim was then able to flee the toilets and head north but was chased by the unknown offender.

“The victim was again confronted and there was a further demand for his wallet,” he said.

“He was assaulted (and) punched before the offender fled empty-handed.”

The offender was 175cm, Caucasian and wearing blue jeans.

“We request that anyone who saw anything in that area about that time on Saturday morning contact the Colac CIU,” Detective Senior Constable Palmer said.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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