Sunday, January 13, 2008

still in his pyjamas

Do you remember the armoured personnel carrier that careered through the ‘burbs and the city nearly 15 years ago? Rotto Bloggo was overseas at the time: we learned about this epic tale a couple of weeks after it happened. The Americans we were with were pretty sanguine. Stuff like that happens with somewhat more frequency on the mean US streets.

A bloke stole the 11-tonne vehicle from an army depot. First stop was a fence at the Wembley cop shop: he crashed through it at 0440. A police car arrived and he bingled them. The behemoth hit the city at 0515 and dropped in to Police HQ, the East Perth lockup, the Central Law Courts, the CIB on Beaufort Street and finally Parliament House.

“…TRG officers managed to drop a tear-gas grenade into the vehicle through the loose hatch, which also gave them entry, finally arresting the offender who resisted arrest violently at about 6.15am. It was then discovered that the vehicle was not carryying ammunition for its guns,” this police document reminisces.

Exciting stuff. Rottnest can’t really offer anything comparable, but we did find this charming tale on Flickr of all places. Let’s go back to April 7, 1959…

‘A stolen 72ft seaward defence boat which was chased to sea to the north of Rottnest yesterday morning was taken by and 18-year-old youth.

‘The Fremantle Harbour Trust pilot boat Lady Mitchell caught the runaway boat and HMAS Fremantle towed the stolen SDB1325 back to port.' (The kid planned to go east and sell the thing).

‘The episode began shortly after 6am when a naval dockyard policeman noticed the boat moving away from the naval boatshed at East Fremantle. The youth, who later said he had no naval training, slipped the moorings of the luanch, started the twin-diesel engines and headed out into mid-stream.

‘Twice he ran the boat, worth about $20,000, aground on sandbanks, and the mast broke off when he passed under the railway bridge.

‘The boat’s port engine seized outside the harbour and the Lady Mitchell was able to draw alongside the SDB1235 (sic?). Still in his pyjamas the skipper leapt aboard and took control of the stolen vessel. The youth offered no resistance.’ (From The West, the day after).

More nautical news: another article on the Lissa says it’s been asked to be the VIP vessel for the Rottnest Island swim.

1 comment:

  1. I do remember that. What about the French guy on the Anitra 2 that started celebrating a little too early after sailing around the world and wrecking it on the last night. Is the boat still on the hill near the shops? It was originally near parker point for a while. Could be worst finishing of round the world race.

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