A 16-year-old teen allegedly attempted to hold police at knife point while demanding cash in an attack in the Canadian State Forest.
The alleged armed hold-up led to a full scale police operation when three men fled the scene in two separate vehicles.
Plain-clothed police were patrolling the Canadian State Forest in an unmarked car when it is alleged they were boxed in by a group of men in two cars at 11.10am on Wednesday.
Police arrested the boy at the scene and he remains in custody.
One man fled in a red Opel sedan with stolen number plates ORS 689 on the front and UXD 100 on the rear. Two other man left the scene in a gold Peugeot sedan with registration UKF 333.
The police members were uninjured during the incident.
The arrested teen, from Ballarat, was charged late on wednesday.
After this incident, witnesses told of the frightening moment they narrowly avoided being rammed by cars believed to be fleeing the forest at excessive speed.
Tim said a man whose face was covered with “a sky-blue hoodie” drove at excessive speed down Elsworth Street toward Sebastopol.
He said the man drove straight past a marked police car. Only his eyes were showing through slits in the jumper.
Ballarat’s Jamie Tucker was traveling on Skipton Street when a car “came flying off Hill Street”. He said he was forced to slam on his brakes to avoid being rammed as the car drove quickly.
Mr Tucker said the car was not visibly being pursued by police at that point.
Mr Tucker said Highway Patrol vehicles trailed the car shortly after.
Police are believed to have followed cars in Sebastopol and Delacombe, where the red Opel was last sighted.
The gold Peugeot, with two men inside, was last seen in the Ballarat area.
At time of publication police media officer Belinda Batty confirmed the three wanted men had not yet been found.
The attempted armed robbery comes as Police Association assistant secretary Bruce McKenzie said Ballarat police regularly experience violent behaviour from members of the public.
Police are urging anyone with information about the vehicles or suspects to come forward. Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or lodge an online report at crimestoppers.com.au.
Police media have just released the following statement:
“Police are investigating after an attempted armed robbery of police members near Ballarat this morning.
Members in an unmarked police vehicle were patrolling the state forest in Canadian when they were boxed in by two other cars at about 11.10am.
A man from one of the cars approached the plain clothed officers, produced a knife and demanded cash.
A 16-year-old was arrested after a brief struggle at which time three other men fled in the two cars.
The police members were uninjured during the incident.
Police would like to speak to anyone who has any information about the cars.
The first car is a red Opel sedan with stolen numbers plates ORS 689 on the front and UXD 100 on the back it was last seen near Delacombe.
The second car is a gold Peugeot sedan with registration UKF 333 which was last seen in the Ballarat area with two men inside.
Anyone with any information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au”
WITNESS NARROWLY AVOIDS BEING HIT BY PEUGOT
A BALLARAT resident has told of the frightening moment when a car being pursued by police sped out in front of him - metres from his vehicle.
Jamie Tucker was on his way home from work when a car ran a red light.
Mr Tucker said he was driving on Skipton Street when a car "came flying off Hill Street".
Mr Tucker said he had to "slam on his brakes" to avoid hitting the car.
"It took off up Skipton Street and ran a red light," Mr Tucker said.
"It crossed over (the road) ... and was outside the Atlantic hotel."
Mr Tucker said the car was travelling up to 100 km/h up Skipton Street.
"It was an accident that was either going to happen or not," Mr Tucker said.
"Yes, both me and the other car (slammed on our brakes)."
Mr Tucker said the car was not visibly being pursued by police at that point, but shortly after Highway Patrol cars began following the vehicle.
ANOTHER WITNESS SPOTS MASKED OPEL DRIVER FLEEING
A BUNINYONG man said he knew something was not right when he saw a masked driver speeding down Elsworth Street.
Tim (who did not wish to have his last name published) was traveling from Buninyong when he saw a red Opel car fly down Elsworth Street past Zagames.
"I didn't know what was going on," Tim said.
"I was going up to urn right onto Elsworth Street when I saw the car come flying down towards (me)."
Tim said the driver has a "sky blue hoodie" wrapped around his face like a balaclava covering everything except for his eyes.
The driver was heading toward Sebastopol and drove at high speed past a marked police van, Tim said.
- Windows smashed in attack on occupied police car
- Ballarat police regularly exposed to violent attacks during routine patrols
A police hunt is underway for two vehicles following an incident near the Canadian State Forest at about 11am today.
It is believed the vehicles involved have been stolen and are known to police.
The police air wing has been requested to help in the search. It is not known if it will be attending.
It is believed at least one of the cars has fled towards the Delacombe/Sebastopol area.
There have also been sightings of one of the cars near Warrenheip.
It is also believed another suspect is in custody.
Attempts have been made to contact police for further information.