Police investigate spate of Karratha taxi assaults

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Taxi drivers have been targeted in a string of recent assaults in Karratha.
Camera IconTaxi drivers have been targeted in a string of recent assaults in Karratha. Credit: SundayPubs

Three attacks on Karratha taxi drivers in less than two weeks of each other has prompted a local police appeal for information.

About 1.30am yesterday morning on Dampier Highway near Sharpe Avenue, three men approached a parked taxi, threw rocks at the vehicle and assaulted the driver with a “blunt instrument”.

The offenders, described by police as aged 20-30 and with dark skin, stole cash and left the man with minor injuries.

Days earlier, in an attempted armed robbery about 2am on Thursday, January 17, two men approached a taxi parked at a service station on Balmoral Road and demanded the driver give them money.

One man hit the driver with a rock as the other got into the taxi to assault him, and one of the men also produced a knife at one point during the scuffle.

They then fled in the direction of an alley-way near Balmoral Road, it is believed without stealing anything.

During both incidents the men involved wore balaclavas during the assaults.

Those attacks came six days after another taxi driver was assaulted by a male passenger demanding money, after stopping his vehicle on Nickol’s Criddle Street.

The passenger fled when the driver called for help and it is believed nothing was stolen.

The man has been described as 19-22 years old with dark skin, short hair and no facial hair.

West Pilbara Detective Senior Sergeant Carlos Correia said the incidents could be linked but that had not been established at this stage.

He urged anyone who witnessed the assaults or had any information that could help to contact police.

“(Taxi drivers) are public servants doing a public duty and they need to be looked after, and the community can help by making sure these thugs are known about quickly so police can follow up,” he said.

If you have any information, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at crimestopperswa.com.au.

For more, see next Wednesday’s issue of The Pilbara News.

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