Tradies carjacked, threatened with a syringe
TWO tradies were carjacked and threatened with a syringe by thieves who then stole two other vehicles and caused chaos on Townsville roads.
Investigators are now trying to piece together the crime spree that took place across several Townsville suburbs and shut down the city's airspace.
A stolen black Range Rover, a Gold Nissan Navara and a white Volkswagen Amarok have all been found dumped after earlier driving dangerously across the city.
The latter was taken from two tradies at a Heatley worksite where police have confirmed they were threatened with a syringe.
Townsville Police Inspector Damien Irvine said a tradie tried to stop the offenders but was injured as he was sandwiched between the stolen vehicle and white Volkswagen.
Earlier, the Nissan Navara and Range Rover were seen travelling in convoy in North Ward and crashed into another car.
The occupants also attempted to carjack another motorist but were unsuccessful.
"The vehicle's then split up and a number of times they were seen driving very, very dangerously," Insp Irvine said.
"They became so dangerous, especially the Nissan Navara, we decided to put the helicopter in the air.
"Unfortunately due to the nature of the driving and how dangerous it got that actual pursuit only lasted for a few minutes and we had to terminate it. However, the helicopter continued to track the vehicle for nearly an hour.
"I was on the road at the time, the driving was absolutely horrendous. No consideration whatsoever for people's safety or property and how no one got hurt I'll never know."
Insp Irvine said officers had an idea of the people involved.
He said when the two cars were in convoy early on Monday there were "multiple people" in each car, who were swapping between the two.
It's unclear whether the offenders are juveniles. No one is in custody.
The stolen Amarok was later found dumped in a Mundingburra street, with its passenger door still wide open.
A police dog was sent in to track the offenders, but CCTV from a nearby house where the vehicle was dumped showed a man jump into another truck, believed to be the Range Rover.
Joanne and Herbert Newman, who own the cameras, said they had them for safety.
"Townsville is getting worse," Mr Newman said.
"It's not like the old days. Years ago, when we were young growing up you could have these doors wide open."
With the QGAir helicopter tracking the vehicle from above, a commercial flight was diverted to Mackay.
Another flight was redirected to Cairns before making the decision to land in Townsville, as well as three additional flights delayed, the airport confirmed.
Chief operating officer Kevin Gill said disruptions were minor.
"The situation is no longer affecting airspace and operations at Townsville Airport are returning to normal," Mr Gill said.
"Passengers are reminded to stay in close contact with their airlines or to watch the Townsville Airport website for updated flight times."