Monday, May 27, 2024

Moment brave shoppers confronted alleged knife thief

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Shocking video has emerged of the moment brave bystanders confronted a man allegedly armed with a knife at a busy Melbourne shopping centre.

The man, 30, allegedly took the knife from a store at Watergardens Shopping Centre in Taylors Lakes and brandished it in the centre on Friday afternoon.

Police allege he used the knife to assault and threaten a 21-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman inside the centre about 12.50pm.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said the man was “swiftly arrested” with help from the public, and is currently assisting police with their inquiries.

Footage obtained by 7News captured the moment brave bystanders pinned the man to the ground.

One of the people involved, Jake Hurmez, told Seven he “took the knife away and then my cousin came and jumped on top of him”.

Another witness, Barbara Pace, said she was worried about a repeat of the Bondi Junction Westfield massacre when she noticed the centre was being locked down.

“Not knowing what you’re locked down for does get a bit scary, and you think, ‘What’s going to happen?,’” she told 7News.

“With what happened in Sydney, we’ve all got to be vigilant now.”

The alleged threats come three weeks after the Bondi Westfield stabbings, in which six people were killed in a Sydney shopping centre.

The country has seen a marked rise in alleged knife crime over April and May.

The Herald Sun reported shoppers on the scene locked themselves inside shops to escape the alleged knife-wielder.

The Sunshine man, who was not identified by police, reportedly threatened a group in a barber shop before being tackled to the ground by multiple concerned Melburnians.

“He was in the barber shop and then was walking with a knife in front of him,” a woman told the Herald Sun.

“The barbers ran out with chairs and managed to hold him down until the cops came.

“The shops all closed and locked everyone inside. The cops still have him barricaded and secure.”

Police have reported that the man did not make any threats.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has dashcam footage or CCTV is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria were called to the scene.

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