VITAL information from the public prompted by a front-page story in The Standard has led to a Portland attempted armed robber being jailed for six months.
Troy Martin Foster, 30, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week to an attempted armed robbery in a central Warrnambool car park and failing to answer bail.
Foster will be in jail until mid-next year as his additional six months’ imprisonment has to be served after his current breach of a parole sentence finishes in February next year.
On December 13, 2010, The Standard ran a front page story about the search for a man wearing a distinctive yellow hoodie involved in an attempted armed robbery at the Coles car park public toilets at 8.03pm on December 10. Police issued an image of the man they were seeking over the incident.
Detectives alleged Foster followed a 26-year-old woman into the toilets, knocked on a door while she was in a cubicle and demand she surrender her handbag, warning her he had a knife.
The woman did not hand over her handbag and screamed, prompting Foster to flee empty-handed from the toilets and head south towards Koroit Street up a laneway beside the National Australian Bank. Police said the woman was extremely traumatised but not injured.
Two people who had been shopping in Target and were walking towards their car heard the woman scream and noticed the man in a distinctive yellow hoodie running south.
Stills from security camera footage of the man were published in The Standard and as a result of information received from the public Foster was arrested in Portland on January 17, 2011.
He was interviewed by police, denying all allegations, and was remanded in custody before being released on bail on February 8 to reappear in court on May 10.
But Foster absconded to Queensland and a warrant was issued for his arrest in Victoria.
Although originally from Portland, Foster has criminal convictions in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
He was arrested by police and had to serve time in NSW prisons before being extradited back to Victoria in December last year to answer the charge of attempted armed robbery and breaching parole.
Detective Senior Constable Richard Hughes, of the Warrnambool crime investigation unit, said information from the public was crucial to Foster being identified as the offender.
“Police are delighted with the end result of the investigation,” he said.
“The accused man was seen the following morning wearing his distinctive hoodie/windcheater using an automatic teller machine.
“It was through that information that we were able to identify Mr Foster.
“We are very thankful for the assistance of The Standard and members of the public for their invaluable assistance in helping to resolve this case,” he said yesterday.