Dementia patient, 76, taken for a joyride after care home minibus stolen

The men, both in their 20s, were scheduled to appear in court today. Source: Queensland Police.

A 76-year-old dementia patient was unwillingly taken for a joyride this week after two thieves assaulted a carer and stole a minibus, driving it erratically for over an hour before being stopped by the police and arrested.

Police will allege that the two men approached the vehicle at around 3.20pm yesterday in Maroochydore on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, before standing in front of the minivan. The male carer, who was helping another client off the bus at the time, attempted to stop the men but was kicked in the chest as a result before the men sped off in the van.

However one elderly passenger was still onboard the BlueCare bus when the incident took place on Tuesday afternoon, with the carer alerting emergency services to the crime.

The vehicle was seen driving erratically by numerous members of the public as the crooks tried to evade police, even driving on the wrong side of the road at one point and allegedly driving through a red light and driving above the speed limit.

Police used a tyre deflation device to finally bring the vehicle to a halt and two men were arrested at the scene, with a video shared on social media showing them being dragged from the vehicle and put in cuffs by responding officers.

The 76-year-old passenger was not harmed in the incident however he was taken straight to the Sunshine Coast Hospital for observation, alongside the 42-year-old carer.

A police spokesperson said: “A 23-year-old Wurtulla man has been charged with three counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and one count each of deprivation of liberty, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, robbery in company, burglary, unlicensed driving, evade police and drink driving.

“A 20-year-old Warana man has been charged with three counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and one count each of wilful damage, robbery in company, deprivation of liberty, burglary and break and enter.”

Both men were scheduled to appear at the Maroochydore Magistrates Court today, June 19.

Have you been following this story?

Stories that matter, delivered straight to your inbox

Sign up to our daily newsletter for more great stories

Leave your comment

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…