Cops have solid leads on escapee

POLICE have some solid leads on the identity of a man who was last seen handcuffed and running away from a security guard at Brooms Head in the early hours of New Year's Day.

The security guard, an employee of Quality1 Security Services, caught the man allegedly trying to steal an icebox from a caravan at the Brooms Head Caravan Park at about 3.45am on Sunday.

Quality1 owner Steve Austin said the guard handcuffed the man's hands behind his back and was waiting for the arrival of police when the man made a run for it.

Police joined the security guard in the search of the area on the night but the man could not be found.

Rumours abounded yesterday about the man's identity.

There were also reports about him bragging about it on Facebook.

Police said they had a fair idea who the man was and would "pay him a visit".

"I hope he's got some good friends," Mr Austin laughed.

"If he's going to go to the toilet he'll have to get someone to hold it for him."

Reports that the man had the cuffs cut off with the use of an angle grinder could not be confirmed yesterday.

Mr Austin, whose company employed about 30 security guards between Port Macquarie and Brooms Head on New Year's Eve, said this year's celebrations had been the most incident-free in a long time.

"It was one of the best on record," he said.

"Everyone behaved themselves."

He attributed this to some key changes to event planning at major venues on the coast including the issuing of wrist-bands for NYE events up to a fortnight beforehand.

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