Police chase suspect through Coast family's backyard
A BOKARINA family had some unexpected dinner guests on Sunday night when a man burst into their backyard and scaled their fence, with a policeman hot on his tail.
Anita Espley and her husband Neil were sitting down to dinner with some German guests at about 7pm when they heard sirens.
Mrs Espley said she had joked to their guests "they're going to get you", before the group heard a loud bang and saw a man running through their backyard.
"We heard banging on the roof like someone had dropped a ball on the roof," Mrs Espley said.
"Then we saw a man run up the side of the house, go over the pool fence and go over our back fence followed by a plain clothes policeman."
Moments later another policeman, also in plain clothes, pushed through their front door and yelled: "Police!" before joining the chase, she said.
"The guy being pursued had dark hair and a goatee beard," Mrs Espley said.
"He was very quick - he scaled our pool fence like it was nobody's business."
The Espley residence on Wyanda Dr is near the busy 24-hour BP service station on Nicklin Way.
The man being pursued was wanted for a number of offences, officer in charge of the Tactical Crime Squad, Acting Senior Sergeant Wade Lee confirmed.
The alleged offender was spotted by plain clothes police officers at the BP petrol station.
Snr Sgt Lee said two policemen had been refuelling their vehicle at the end of their shift on Sunday when they recognised the wanted man, who was known to police.
"They recognised a wanted person and that wanted person fled on foot and was chased by officers on foot through some yards," he said.
The man was still on the loose after police failed to locate him.
A second man who was understood to be an associate of the man in question was later located and found to be in possession of drugs.
He was arrested and charged, Snr Sgt Lee said.
Mrs Espley described the experience as surreal and said there was "never a dull moment" in her family.
As reported in the Daily, Kawana Dolphins rugby league stalwart Neil Espley was recovering from a brain injury he sustained in 2013 when he slipped and fell at a hotel in Sydney.
The shocking intrusion on Sunday was a stark reminder to make sure her home was secure, Mrs Espley said.
She didn't always lock the front door when she was home, but realised the sense of security she felt from being able to see who was coming through her glass doors was false, she said.
"It's just brought home to us that we've got to step up the security. We've become a lot more aware of home safety and not to take a relaxed approach."
Police agreed the incident should remind people to secure their homes.
"You need to be mindful of who's traversing your properties, particularly those properties that are around businesses," Snr Sgt Lee said.
"A lot of crime is opportunistic. If you're not securing your belongings you're making yourself a softer target.
"You should always be locking up, even if you're in the yard."
In an uncanny coincidence, the police chase was an "exact repeat" of an event 13 years earlier, Mrs Espley said.
Her son had been home alone when police had knocked on the door, needing access so they could chase a man who had also fled from the nearby BP petrol station, Mrs Espley said.