Police seal Darwin in hunt for Box Hill shooter

Darwin’s exits remained closed by police roadblocks last night, while taxis, buses, hotels and airlines were told to beware in Berichon.

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Abbott was arrested on Saturday afternoon after six months on the run from a Brisbane jail.

He will appear in Darwin Magistrates Court at 10am tomorrow, where Queensland Police will seek his extradition. Western Australian police are also traveling to Darwin to question him over a pre-Christmas armed robbery.

South Australian police said yesterday they also wanted to question Abbott about multiple armed robberies. Victorian detectives believe Abbott was behind a $250,000 Armaguard heist in Dandenong in March.

Abbott made no attempt to resist arrest when he was picked up by seven armed police at 5.10pm on Saturday. Police had seen him enter a room at the downtown Top End Hotel, owned by media identity Mike Willesee, half an hour earlier.

“He was very passive, he obeyed every instruction, he gave his name…and he was totally cooperative,” Commander Manison said.

He said Abbott was in shock and “certainly did not expect to be apprehended in Darwin”.

Police then raided a hotel room looking for Berichon, but the room was empty.

Abbott arrived in the NT on Friday from Queensland in a Toyota LandCruiser believed to have been stolen from WA a year ago and hidden to keep police off the trail.

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The car contained $22,000 in cash, a gun, a large amount of high-powered ammunition, four wigs, makeup, and a small amount of marijuana.

It was equipped with radios and scanners to monitor police frequencies. Police also seized a laptop with software to forge Queensland driving licenses and around 100 blank Queensland licenses. Abbott carried a loaded semi-automatic pistol.

In a statement released last night by his lawyer, Mr Chris Nyst, Abbott claimed he had become a political scapegoat. “I will adapt to what happens to me,” he said.

“They put me in solitary confinement for 18 months last time. I just hope they don’t go too far this time.

Brendon Berichon was arrested in Darwin on May 5, 1998. He was subsequently extradited to Victoria, charged with the attempted murder of two police officers and holding a woman hostage while on the run with Abbott. He was convicted and served nine years in prison.

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