Gun puts end to crime spree

A MAN who went on a fortnight-long crime spree tried to pull a knife on a police officer who arrived to arrest him - but thought better of it when he found himself staring down the barrel of the officer's gun.

Bundaberg man Thomas Joshua Coffison, 18, racked up 20 charges in a crime spree that included 14 stealing offences from different shops across Bundaberg in September alone.

Yesterday he faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to the charges, which included 15 counts of stealing.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said in the past few weeks, Coffison had been to 14 Bundaberg service stations, bottle shops and convenience stores, where he would gather items from the shelves and either flee the store or pretend to go get his wallet, taking the items with him and never coming back.

"This is a shocking crime spree that has lasted for some time," Sgt Stevens said.

Sgt Stevens said when police went to arrest Coffison this week, he began running at an officer while reaching inside his pants, causing the officer to draw his gun.

Sgt Stevens said on seeing the gun, he complied with police directions but "quite a serious" 20cm blade was found on him.

"Not only did he place police officers at risk, he also placed himself at risk of other things occurring," he said.

"It was just through the fine discipline of the officer that this was resolved peacefully."

Lawyer Rian Dwyer said Coffison had a serious alcohol problem and had been drinking since he was 12.

"It is an addiction to alcohol that has fuelled these offences," he said.

"He has no income so ... he steals to survive."

Magistrate Jennifer Batts sentenced Coffison to three months jail to be followed by 15 months on probation.

Topics:  crime spree, police, thomas joshua coffison



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