Man charged with robbery, assault after dramatic arrest at Lismore
Speaking to journalists on Saturday, Acting Inspector Anthony Smith from Richmond Police District said it is “very fortunate that no police were injured, no members of the public were injured.”
Mr Luke was taken to Lismore Police Station, where he was charged with damaging property by fire, using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, robbery armed with an offensive weapon, two counts of assault with intent to rob armed with an offensive weapon, larceny, and two counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
Police allege he is responsible for a string of offences, starting with a carjacking at Griffith in western NSW on September 14. A 20-year-old woman’s Volkswagen Polo and handbag were stolen after she was threatened with a knife.
“Following the carjacking, it’s alleged the man committed further theft and fraud offences in both the Griffith and Dubbo regions,” NSW Police said in a statement on Saturday evening.
The next day, Mr Luke allegedly threatened a 23-year-old woman with a knife outside a shopping centre in the Sydney suburb of Hornsby and demanded she hand over cash. She fled and he left empty-handed, police say.
In the final incident, at about 6.30am on September 18, police responded to a large fire at a cathedral in Lismore, which is alleged to have been deliberately lit.
“Detectives from Richmond Police District commenced an investigation into the fire and, following inquiries, determined that all four incidents were allegedly linked,” a police spokesperson said.
Mr Luke was refused bail to face Lismore Bail Court on Sunday.