Moffat Beach moonlit dinner turns to hunt for attacker

ROBBERY SCENE: Jy-Leigh Wilson and Toby Vergens relax near a Moffat Beach car park yesterday where they witnessed a police search on Monday night.
ROBBERY SCENE: Jy-Leigh Wilson and Toby Vergens relax near a Moffat Beach car park yesterday where they witnessed a police search on Monday night. Che Chapman

A MOONLIT beach dinner took an intense turn when Toby Vergens and Jy-Leigh Wilson found themselves surrounded by police searching for an alleged armed robber.

The two were cooking up some dinner in the back of a van at a Moffat Beach car park on Monday when they heard some commotion nearby.

They did not know it at the time, but a 20-year-old man had allegedly approached some people who were taking photos and started acting aggressively towards them.

The man then allegedly stole car keys from the ignition of their vehicle, to which an 18-year-old man responded by trying to get them back.

The teenager was then allegedly hit with a surfboard before the 20-year-old man fled.

Police were called about 7.50pm.

"We couldn't leave because our car was blocked off in the car park," Ms Wilson said.

She said more and more police vehicles arrived as the search continued.

"They had guns out and everything," she said.

Mr Vergens said alarms started going off at the nearby Norfolks on Moffat Beach resort.

He said there were a lot of guests and residents from the resort who came out to see what was going on.

Officers said they found the alleged attacker hiding in an industrial bin.

Thomas William Spencer Lowe, 20, was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, robbery with violence, attempted robbery and trespassing.

Lowe was due to appear in custody in Maroochydore Magistrates Court yesterday however duty lawyer David Crews said Lowe was not in a proper state to be brought up from the police watch house.

"I can't take instructions from him," Mr Crews said.

Lowe's matters were adjourned for mention in the same court again today.

Topics:  crime editors picks moffat beach police robber

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