Reckless teens charged after shooting spree
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