Staff praised over their reaction to fake cop


Still from video footage courtesy Queensland Police.

Pharmacy staff did a “really good job” when confronted with a woman who impersonated a police officer and stole drugs

Sunshine Coast detectives have charged a 36-year-old woman with multiple offences after responding to a report of a robbery at a Maroochydore pharmacy last week.

Queensland Police say they will allege around 12.15pm, a woman entered the pharmacy on Denna Street while wearing an imitation police uniform and armour, and armed with a replica handgun and a knife.

The woman allegedly made threats to arrest staff before leaving the pharmacy with what police called “a number of controlled substances”.

A short time later, police observed the woman driving a silver wagon along Denna Street.

She was stopped by police and arrested on the corner of Denna Street and Bradman Avenue before being taken to the Maroochydore watchhouse.

Video footage released by police show them removing the woman from her vehicle and finding the imitation gun and the knife on her person.

It shows them searching her imitation police vest and then leading her to a police vehicle.

The Maroochydore woman was charged with one count each of carrying an exposed weapon in a public place, possession of a knife in a public place, possessing a restricted item, namely an extendable baton and handcuffs, impersonating a public officer and stealing.

She is due to appear in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on May 21.

Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards later praised the actions of the pharmacy staff who had been confronted with the woman.

He told the ABC’s George Roberts and Jacqui Street that while the pharmacy staff had been frightened, they soon realised that “it’s not the norm for police to come and make those types of requests”.

While the staff complied with the woman’s requests, one of the pharmacy workers contacted police and was also able to obtain footage of the woman leaving the store.

“So they did a really good job,” Senior Sergeant Edwards said.

He noted that the woman’s fake police outfit had likely been sourced online.

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