'I want my ute back': Farmer robbed by armed fugitive
IRONPOT farmer Rick Greenup was never expecting to be a part of a scene straight out of a real life Hollywood action movie, but that is exactly what happened yesterday morning.
"We were doing some repairs to fences after the recent flooding, I left the guys for a short time to do some other jobs and on the drive back I saw my ute go flying past me," he said.
On Monday morning, Mr Greenup's ute was stolen from the paddock, closely followed by a white Toyota Prado, which had been stolen from Toowoomba days before.
Mr Greenup assumed the on-the-run couple took his ute to swap with the Prado.
"I think they knew the police were on to them," he said.
Putting his own safety aside, the Ironpot farmer took chase, stopping only to chat with his neighbour Matt Allan.
"I said to Matt 'was that my ute?' and he said they were going too fast he couldn't be sure," Mr Greenup said.
"They were really moving."
During the chase, the female driver in the Prado lost control and the vehicle flipped.
"The young girl wasn't used to gravel roads," Mr Greenup said.
The driver of Mr Greenup's stolen Landcruiser turned the vehicle around after noticing his female accomplice had flipped the Prado.
Mr Greenup attempted to block the vehicle as the man drove back, but he drove around Mr Greenup's vehicle, seemingly leaving behind the girl, who was now out of the upturned vehicle.
"The car was upside down so I thought I'll go back to this girl," Mr Greenup said.
"She was out of the car at that stage and she seemed to me to be okay."
"I told her, 'you just wait here and we'll be having a little talk to the police'."
The man then turned back around towards Mr Greenup and the girl.
"He was coming back to get the girl," he said.
At that point, Mr Greenup remembered there was an item in the back of his ute of some significance.
"I knew there was a rifle in the back of my vehicle so I didn't want to stick around in case he had worked that out too."
In the middle of this Hollywood-like event, Mr Greenup's neighbour Matt Allan had driven out to assist.
"Matt got tangled up with this guy, he was in his Hilux and the guy in my ute rammed him," he said.
"At one stage he pulled the rifle out of the window and aimed it at Matt."
The couple fled the scene in Mr Greenup's Landcruiser and are still on the run.
"Last we heard they had done a runner from a petrol station in Ban Ban Springs."
Mr Greenup said this incident has caused in excess of $65,000 of damage, including the two vehicles and the use of a LifeFlight helicopter.
"This stuff is just out of control, it's an annoying inconvenience for innocent people," he said.
"Why do we have to keep tolerating this crap?"
Mr Greenup said if he had his time over, he would do it again.
"It was a bit of a rush of blood, you do stupid things from time to time," he said.
"I just want to get my vehicle back."
Mr Greenup's Landcruiser, licence plate 189-JHY, was tracked heading towards Hervey Bay yesterday afternoon.
Anyone who spots the vehicle is urged to immediately contact Triple Zero (000) and to not approach the vehicle or the occupants.
The driver, a 30-year-old man is described as caucasian, approximately 195cms tall with a solid build and brown hair.
His passenger, an 18-year-old woman is described as caucasian, approximately 160cm tall with a proportionate build and brown hair.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24 hours a per day.