Peter Welsh, 32, and Dwayne Doolan, 31, from Woodridge, broke into a toilet block behind the joined shops in Beaudesert before using an iron bar to hack into a fibro wall.

The pair had expected to knock through to Wrights Jewellers but surprised themselves and junior staff of the local KFC when they emerged the other side.

Intent on not leaving empty handed the duo staged a spontaneous hold-up and escaped with $2,600, allegedly threatening staff with a bar to open the safe.

The would-be-jewel thieves were arrested on New Year’s Day when Welsh was charged with armed robbery, stealing, burglary and attempted burglary, while Doolan is charged with robbery and stealing.

Police said this was the pair’s third unsuccessful attempt at robbing the jewellery store.

After failing to break the shop window by throwing spark plugs, the thieves tried to break in through the back doors but ended up in the Animal Welfare League Opportunity Shop, where they stole the charity box containing $50.

Legal Aid duty lawyer Vered Turner, defending Welsh, said: “He realises imprisonment is inevitable as a result of his offending but he should be afforded the opportunity to remain in the community until being sentenced by the District Court.”

 Magistrate Michael O’Driscoll refused Welsh bail, but police did not oppose bail for Doolan.

The two men will return to court on March 5 2013.

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