Inky mementos lead cops to Aussie culprits

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The couple got matching tattoos to mark the success of their heist. Photo / Supplied
The couple got matching tattoos to mark the success of their heist. Photo / Supplied

An Australian couple who stole almost A$18,000 ($23,225) in an armed robbery were caught after they celebrated their heist by getting a pair of matching tattoos.

John Robert Cole, 30, and Shailee Jane Kingston, 19, had each other's names tattooed on their skin above an image of wads of cash and the words "Partner in Crime". The clues proved handy for the detectives investigating the knife-point robbery at the Northcliffe Surf Club at Surfers Paradise last September.

Police were put on Kingston's trail after the mother of a friend reported that the teenager had been boasting about her crime on Facebook.

When police arrested Kingston she said she and her boyfriend had decided to get the tattoos to mark the success of their hold-up.

Ipswich District Court heard that Kingston scoped the premises and kept watch while Cole robbed the cashier at knifepoint.

Cole pleaded guilty to armed robbery in company and was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Kingston, who is pregnant, pleaded guilty to armed robbery in company and was sentenced to three years, but released on immediate parole.

Cole's defence barrister, Steve Kissick, said his client had robbed the tavern to "pay a bounty on his head" after he testified against a Finks motorcycle gang member who shot him.

Cole has a 42-page criminal history, including twice escaping from prison and previous offences of burglary.

- APN

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