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article imageThieves meant to rob jewelery store, got KFC instead

By Anne Sewell     Jan 4, 2013 in Crime
Beaudesert - A duo of bumbling Australian thieves made off with $2,600 when they accidentally tunneled into the local KFC outlet, instead of their intended target, the jewelery store next door.
It happened in Beaudesert, a small town in northeastern Australia and sounds like something out of an old Keystone Cops movie.
Apparently the intrepid robbers tore down a toilet block behind the two, adjoined stores, using an iron bar to break through a wall, hopefully into Wright's Jewelers. Only one problem, they ended up in KFC, where they bumped into some restaurant staff.
Not to be outdone, Peter Welsh, 32, and Dwayne Doolan, 31, then staged a hold-up and managed to escape with a grand total of $2,600.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Damian Summerfield said that "When confronted, a female staffer opened the safe (for them) and they grabbed lots of cash."
Both were arrested and charged with robbery on Wednesday, after police raided Welsh's home.
It turns out this is the third, unsuccessful attempt that day to rob the jewelery store. Police said that apparently their first plan was to smash the front window of the shop by throwing spark plugs. This failed. Then they allegedly tried to break in through the rear doors, but in that case, also got the wrong shop, and ended up in an Animal Welfare League Opportunity Shop, where they stole a charity box containing $50.
The result of the whole thing is that Welsh has been charged with armed robbery, stealing, burglary and attempted burglary and Doolan was charged with robbery and stealing.
A Legal Aid duty lawyer, Vered Turner, tried to get bail for Welsh, saying that he had behaved himself since serving time in a New South Wales jail in 2009 and had been living in Queensland for two years with his wife and seven-year-old daughter.
She argued, "He realizes imprisonment is inevitable as a result of his (alleged) offending but he should be afforded the opportunity to remain in the community until being sentenced by the District Court."
However, Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll refused Welsh bail and deemed him "too great a risk of reoffending". Not surprising after so many attempts to rob just one store.
Doolan was deemed a lesser offender and had no problems getting bail until the case is heard on March 5, 2013.
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