Reck­less teens charged af­ter shoot­ing spree

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

POLICE are re­lieved no­body was se­ri­ously in­jured or killed af­ter two teens aged 13 and 15 al­legedly stole three ri­fles and a shot­gun and fired them on Wonga beach.

The local male youths have been charged with prop­erty, weapon and drug of­fences.

Police also seized an out­board mo­tor, stolen three-weeks ago in Wonga Beach. A cross­bow was also seized. Moss­man’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tions Branch Se­nior De­tec­tive Per­ham said it was lucky there were no se­ri­ous in­juries or fa­tal­i­ties when the ju­ve­niles reck­lessly fired the weapons.

“The in­ci­dent cer­tainly had po­ten­tial for peo­ple to get in­jured, li­censed peo­ple have to com­ply with a lot of safety pro­ce­dures and safety reg­u­la­tions when han­dling firearms,” he said.

“For firearms to find their way to un­trained ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers who are just ran­domly shoot­ing at trees and things on the beach where peo­ple walk dogs, pro­jec­tiles carry some dis­tance there’s an ob­vi­ous risk of harm to the com­mu­nity.

“You wouldn’t give a two-yearold a box of matches.”

On Tues­day, June 5, the ju­ve­niles al­legedly broke into a prop­erty in Wonga Beach and stole three ri­fles, a shot-gun and am­mu­ni­tion from an open gun-safe and also al­legedly broke into a sec­ond prop­erty in the area and stole a tom­a­hawk and six jam donuts.

Both prop­er­ties were un­locked at the time and the ju­ve­niles at­tempted to break into a third prop­erty but it was se­cured.

The youths took the guns to the beach the same day and it was not un­til six days later, last Mon­day , the guns were re­trieved by police.

“Police ex­e­cuted the search war­rant at Wonga Beach and seized a quan­tity of stolen prop­erty and a small quan­tity of cannabis,” Se­nior De­tec­tive Per­ham said.

“The am­mu­ni­tion was re­cov­ered in a search of a Wonga Beach res­i­dence on Sun­day and the firearms were re­cov­ered on Mon­day.

“Reg­u­la­tions about stor­age of weapons are put in place to pre­vent ex­actly this.

“If the weapons had been stored in com­pli­ance with reg­u­la­tions the weapons could not have been stolen with the am­mu­ni­tion, they weren’t se­cured and as a re­sult we had a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion with ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers fir­ing shots on the beach with weapons.

“I ap­peal to peo­ple who own firearms to store them cor­rectly.”

The ju­ve­niles have been charged with crim­i­nal of­fences un­der the Youth Jus­tice Act and have been bailed to ap­pear at the Moss­man Chil­dren’s Court at a later date.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing and if any­one has in­for­ma­tion con­tact the Moss­man police on 4098 2177 or crime stop­pers on 1800 333 000.

Bang to rights: Cap­tured: Stan­ley the fresh-wa­ter tur­tle with Con­sta­ble Rob Me­harg and Se­nior Con­sta­ble Sharon But­ler

Firearms: the ri­fles and the shot­gun

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