A 13-year-old boy — initially suspected of being an adult due to his large build — has been charged after he allegedly brandished a huge knife during a daylight robbery at a Hamilton Hill shop.
The armed hold-up, which left one worker “too scared” to go back to work, happened just after 9am on June 23, when the boy walked into the Ducks Deli Lunch Bar and allegedly pulled out a 30cm knife in front of two women behind the counter.
“(He had) a hoodie tied tight around his head so you could barely see his face, and a surgical mask,” Lily, who was one of the staff, told The West Australian.
“Then he got a knife out and pointed it at us. He held it up in one hand and held a bag up in the other and said ‘rob’. That’s all he said and then he ran past us and opened the cupboard with the cigarettes behind the counter.”
The 23-year-old said once the armed robber had his back turned to them, the two women ran out the front of the shop.
“We didn’t know what he was going to do next so we decided to run,” Lily said. “I was so scared.”
After yelling at a passer-by to call the police, the pair locked the front door to try to stop the thief but he fled through the back door, reportedly with about $800 worth of cigarettes.
A 13-year-old boy was arrested by detectives from the Regional Investigations Unit on Wednesday and charged with one count of armed robbery.
He is due to appear in Perth Children’s Court on 17 July.
It was the second horrific ordeal that took place on Simms Road this year.
Five months earlier police also descended on the deli when Shane Correria was stabbed three times in the leg while in a car.
Bleeding profusely after the carjacking, Mr Correria ran to the lunch bar and asked staff inside for help, shocking the female co-owner inside who called an ambulance.
The deli co-owner’s partner, who asked not to be named, said at the time she’d been left “traumatised” by the incident.
“Then a man walked into the shop covered in blood,” he said.
“He didn’t say anything and my colleague just called an ambulance.”
The raid was one of 92 robbery and burglary offences reported to police in Hamilton Hill over the past year.
More than 70 burglaries took place at a home
Earlier this month, a 65-year-old retiree was left unconscious and bleeding on the ground in his Hamilton Hill retirement village 3km from the deli.
Police from Cockburn, the canine section and the Regional Operations Group had been deployed to the Erpingham Road retirement complex under “emergency conditions” on June 5, to find the retiree on the ground.
Police say a pair of young men demanding money attacked him and mercilessly punched the victim several times, causing him to fall to the ground.
From there they then allegedly kicked him in the head repeatedly before stealing his wallet.
On June 14, a 31-year-old woman was savagely beaten by a man who broke into her home in Atwell.
The woman’s injuries were confronting, with a CT scan and X-rays confirming multiple fractures to her face and one eye was swollen completely shut.
She was alone at home when the man attacked her, throwing punch after punch while he demanded “where’s the money”.
“He punched me so many times I couldn’t stand up. I felt so dizzy,” she told The West Australian two days after the attack, which was one of 92 robbery and burglary offences reported to police in Hamilton Hill over the past year.
The expected spike in robberies, burglaries and stealing offences coincides with the opening of the State’s borders, and the resulting rise in drugs coming into WA.
Though the number of offences is significantly lower than in previous years, WA Police have recently flagged the impending return of property crime back to pre-COVID levels.