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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Grafton escapees may be in Casino area

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Hakeem Cohen
Escapee Hakeem Cohen

An overnight search has failed to find four detainees who escaped custody after allegedly stealing a juvenile justice van at Grafton on Sunday afternoon.

About 4.30pm on Sunday (March 2) police were called to North Street at Grafton, near Queen Street, after a group of detainees allegedly threatened two security officers with a knife.

The van was transporting the detainees, three aged 18 and one 15-year-old, back to a nearby facility following a day excursion.

Ezra Williams
Escapee Ezra Williams

The two threatened officers, along with another detainee, jumped out of the van, which then took off.

Officers from Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command found the van a short time later on Red Gum Avenue at South Grafton but the three are still missing.

Police are conducting inquiries and continuing an extensive search for the group, who they believe may be headed towards the Casino area.

Braiden Tighe
Escapee Braiden Tighe

They are: Hakeem Cohen, Ezra Williams and Braiden Tighe, plus an unnamed 15-year-old youth.

Hakeem Cohen, aged 18, is described as being of Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander appearance, between 150cm and 160cm tall, with medium build and black hair.

Ezra Williams, aged 18, is described as being of Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander appearance, between 160cm and 170cm tall, with medium build and brown hair.

Braiden Tighe, aged 18, is described as being of Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander appearance, between 165cm and 170cm tall, with medium build and black hair.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named, is described as being of Caucasian appearance, approximately 150cm to 155cm tall, with thin build and brown hair.

Anyone who sees them is urged not to approach them but to contact Triple Zero ‘000’ immediately.

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