A 15-year-old boy is back in police custody after allegedly tricking police into releasing him from Southport Watch House on the Gold Coast by posing as his cellmate.
The boy was facing charges over an alleged violent carjacking on the Gold Coast and was being held in the watch house until his next court appearance on Wednesday, police said in a statement.
But when police entered the cell he was sharing with another boy on Saturday and called the name of his cellmate -- who was due for release at 10:45am that morning -- the boy stepped forward.
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The boy was allowed through a watch house door and into an internal walkway leading to the street before police realised he wasn't who he claimed to be. Police shouted at him to stop, but he jumped over a locked gate at the end of the walkway and fled down the street.
Police chased the boy on foot but he eluded capture.
The boy's cellmate is believed to have been sleeping at the time.
In a press conference on Saturday afternoon, South Eastern Regional Duty Officer Senior Sergeant Brett McGibbon admitted the incident was a "bit embarrassing".
"It was realised by the watch house staff immediately that they've released him. They'd just checked photos and in the space of approximately 30 seconds of getting from one door to the other he's been able to jump over a gate," he said.
"Obviously this matter is subject to an internal review to exactly determine what has occurred."
The Brisbane Times reports that the boys were of similar age, but visually different.
The teen finally handed himself in to police at 11:45am on Sunday in the company of his lawyer -- more than 24 hours after the alleged prison break.
He is now facing fresh charges for escaping lawful custody and stealing, as he allegedly took some of his cellmate's belongings when he escaped.
The teenager had faced Southport Children's Court just hours before his escape over charges relating to an alleged violent carjacking, which left a girl in a critical condition in hospital.
Police allege the boy and a 15-year-old female counterpart pulled a knife on a 24-year-old woman and demanded money and her car.
The driver of the car had offered the teenagers a lift from Harbour Town shopping centre to nearby Helensvale on Thursday night. When the teens allegedly threatened her, police say the driver drove off in a panic, hitting the girl and causing serious injuries.
After driving a short distance away, the woman, apparently unaware that the girl had been injured, called police and reported the attempted carjacking.
The boy fled the scene on foot, but was found a short time later and arrested.
The teenage girl has been placed in an induced coma and remains in a critical condition at the Gold Coast University Hospital, the Brisbane Times reports.
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