Hunt for duo needed all police resources

Police caught the final two escapees from the Malmsbury Youth Justice Facility riots in Stodart Street, Colac, on Thursday after a dramatic manhunt in south-west Victoria. The youths stole a blue XR6 sedan on Wednesday which Colac police found in Balnagowan Avenue, Colac, about 2.45pm Thursday.

Colac police Sergeant Timothy Kerrison says the arrests of two fugitive teenagers in Colac took all available resources to achieve a positive outcome.

The pair were among the 15 inmates who escaped from the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre, north-east of Ballarat, on Wednesday.

Sgt Kerrison said the capture of the two escapees was a “massive effort” which involved more than 15 police officers and all available resources within the region.

He said that after initial sightings of the suspected vehicle in the Geelong area on Thursday morning, police broadcast a request for south-west Victorians to keep a look out for it.

Sgt Kerrison said within a couple of hours members from the public began to report sightings of the suspected fugitives and car, which was driving in an erratic manner.

He said Colac police saw the car within the Colac district, and they later confirmed it was the suspected blue XR6 sedan.

Sgt Kerrison said police called all available Colac units and units from surrounding police stations to the area, while police placed an outer cordon on the outskirts of Colac to contain the vehicle.

He said police found the vehicle at Balnagowan Avenue about 2.30pm.

“Within the time frame we’ve managed to corner that vehicle down in the Balnagowan Avenue area,” Sgt Kerrison said.

“At that point the two occupants of that vehicle have chosen to abandon the vehicle and take off on foot.

“Police discovered the two males hiding in a back yard of a property that was adjacent to the lakeside reserve.

“Upon that police unit seeing the two offenders, they were directed to come out and give themselves up.

“A further search was conducted for any further evidence, at this point we were reasonably satisfied no one had left the scene.

“Both offenders were compliant and were secured at the scene, handcuffed.”

Sgt Kerrison said police made the arrest with no one sustaining injuries.

He said a tow truck towed the vehicle and the Fugitive Task Force took the two offenders from Colac Police Station to Melbourne for further interviews.

“This job was being tracked from as far as Melbourne, resources were being offered and thrown at this job from far and wide,” he said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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