Update, 7.20pm: Police are hunting two teenage fugitives who assaulted a security guard, stole a vehicle from inside Banksia Detention Centre and then used it to smash through a security gate to escape the facility this morning.
A police spokesman alleged that Christopher Meredith, 18, and Peter Robert Garlett, 17, had stolen a Toyota Hilux four-wheel drive vehicle from inside the centre about 10:15am. It is believed they stole the vehicle after assaulting a security guard at the centre.
The spokesman said the teenagers allegedly used the vehicle to ram through the centre’s main gates and escape from the centre. Soon after, the car collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Bristle Avenue and Ranford Road.
Garlett and Meredith then allegedly stole another Toyota Hilux, a white-coloured 2002 single cab four-wheel drive, from a nearby shopping centre. That vehicle had a beige canvas canopy and a black bull bar and was yet to be recovered last night.
Acting Assistant Commissioner for Youth Justice Andrew Salter said the incidents would be “thoroughly reviewed”. He said the Corrective Services Department was very confident in its security measures at the centre and undertook regular checks of all of its security procedures.
Community and Public Sector Union-Civil Service Association branch secretary Toni Walkington said the incident highlighted security problems at the centre which the union had raised repeatedly.
Ms Walkington alleged the security guard assaulted by the escapees had been hit with a brick. She said the breakout came in the wake of other concerning incidents where other detainees had accessed the building site at the centre, thrown loose bricks at staff, and climbed on to the roof of one of the buildings.
Garlett is described as dark-skinned, 170cm tall, with a medium build, brown hair, and brown eyes. Meredith is described as dark-skinned, 176cm tall, with a slim build, brown hair and brown eyes.
The spokesman said both Garlett and Meredith were considered dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public.
Anyone who sees the 2002 white Hilux or who has information on the whereabouts of Garlett or Meredith are asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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