2 August 2022

Teen accused of attempted robbery, burglary and dangerous driving in alleged Belconnen crime spree

| Albert McKnight
ACT Courts

Jaiden Ashton Higgins, 19, has appeared in court charged with a string of alleged offences. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Several police teams combined forces to arrest a teenager accused of being part of a trio who allegedly broke into homes, stole a vehicle and assaulted multiple people in north Canberra on the weekend.

Jaiden Ashton Higgins, 19, did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody when he appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (1 August).

ACT Policing said at about 7 pm on Saturday (30 July), officers were told three men had allegedly been trying to break into a home in Macquarie. They reportedly used a chair to try to break into the windows of the residence, knocked over pot plants and snapped off vehicle mirrors.

A resident inside was unharmed and told police about the alleged incident.

But police allege that shortly afterwards, another Macquarie resident was walking home when he was forcibly confined by the same three men and taken to a nearby residence where he was assaulted and items were stolen from him.

He was able to escape and sought help from security guards at the nearby shopping centre.

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Next, police were told a man was waiting to collect his daughter from a party in Scullin when he was allegedly dragged from his parked vehicle by one of the trio before it was stolen and driven away.

Around the same time, a woman in Scullin had just gotten out of her car after arriving home when she was allegedly assaulted by one of the trio who tried to get her keys, then followed her into her home by forcing the door open before fleeing the scene.

Police coordinated their resources and tried to stop what they called “a suspicious vehicle” on Belconnen Way at about 11 pm, but the driver allegedly failed to stop and police began a short chase that was terminated due to safety concerns.

Officers gave chase after spotting the car again but were forced to end it once more due to the driver’s alleged speeding, including travelling at 150 km/h in a 60 km/h zone in O’Connor.

The driver also didn’t stop when they allegedly crashed into a parked car when travelling on the wrong side of the road.

When the car was spotted on Barry Drive in Acton, police allegedly saw that its rear tyres had disintegrated, sparks and rubber were flying from the back and it was leaving gouges behind on the road.

The driver entered the University of Canberra campus, allegedly driving on footpaths and median strips, before police trapped Mr Higgins, although they had to deploy capsicum spray to subdue him.

He was given a breath test and allegedly returned a reading of 0.139, almost three times the legal limit.

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In court, Mr Higgins was charged but did not enter pleas to attempted robbery, burglary, dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, not giving his particulars to another driver after a crash, level four drink driving and damaging property.

Magistrate Glenn Theakston adjourned the matter to 15 August.

ACT Policing said Mr Higgins’ arrest formed part of a newly established task force that targets high-risk driving behaviours and stolen vehicles which are often used during crimes, such as burglaries and assaults.

They said enquiries are continuing into the identities of the other two men believed to be involved.

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