Mooloolaba ride-by shooting could be linked to bikies

THE DAMAGE DONE: The aftermath of yesterday’s attack on the shopfront of a Mooloolaba tattoo business.
THE DAMAGE DONE: The aftermath of yesterday’s attack on the shopfront of a Mooloolaba tattoo business. Iain Curry

POLICE are on the hunt for a "pushbike outlaw" who has fired shots into the shopfront of a Mooloolaba tattoo business before pedalling off.

CCTV footage that captured the brazen attack showed a man wearing a helmet and a high-visibility shirt riding a bicycle in a circle for four minutes along Brisbane Rd early yesterday morning.

He then leisurely gets off his bicycle out the front of the Inside Outside Body Art, props the bike up, using the stand, pulls a gun from his backpack and fires twice at the shop window.

Maroochydore Criminal Investigation Branch officer-in-charge Daren Edwards said police believed it was an act of intimidation by associated members of the Rebel Motorcycle Club.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: CCTV footage shows a man on a bicycle firing two shots through the glass windows of Inside Outside Body Art.
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: CCTV footage shows a man on a bicycle firing two shots through the glass windows of Inside Outside Body Art.

"On February 22, the owners of the tattoo business were approached and threatened by persons known to be associated with the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Group," Snr Sgt Edwards said.

"The threats were based on their businesses being set up.

"It is well known, not just around the Sunshine Coast but around Queensland and Australia generally, that outlaw motorcycle gangs operate these businesses and they use threats to disrupt other businesses that are trying to set up."

The tattoo and piercing shop opened four weeks ago after shifting locations from Maroochydore.

Owners Michael Erlenmaier and Kerstin Limplee migrated to the Sunshine Coast from Germany in 2011.

Ms Limplee said that within the first month of opening along Aerodrome Rd, Maroochydore, they were threatened.

"They come in and say, 'If you don't stop this, I will come after you, I will get you, I will kill you'," Ms Limplee said.

"They say, 'You have to ask for permission to open a tattoo shop like this'."

The gunshots penetrated the glass shopfront, two mannequins and furniture.

CCTV footage from outside the Mooloolaba Police Beat and other businesses along Brisbane Rd is being reviewed.

Snr Sgt Edwards said police would focus on ending outlaw motorcycle gangs intimidating business owners.

"Why shouldn't other people be able to go about their business? And why should those associated with outlaw motorcycle gangs be the only ones allowed to operate their business?" he said.

"The community does not want to tolerate it anymore.

"They keep going with it. There are shootings around the state, but we will work towards trying to identify these persons and use the force of the law to do something about it."

Owners Michael Erlenmaier and Kerstin Limplee.
Owners Michael Erlenmaier and Kerstin Limplee. Iain Curry

Ms Limplee said she did not know if they would continue operating the business out of fear the attacks would escalate.

"This is not fair. I don't want to be attacked for just doing my business," she said.

"I don't want to give up my job because I have done it for more than 20 years. It's all I want to do and all I can do."

The Rebel Motorcycle Club Sunshine Coast chapter did not wish to make comment on the matter.

Police ask anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  mooloolaba, police, shooting



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