Crime spree probe

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

PO­LICE are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a se­ries of of­fences across Port Dou­glas, rang­ing from a break-and-en­ter, wil­ful dam­age, graf­fiti and ar­son with two garbage bins set alight and ev­i­dence of other ar­son at­tempts.

Late Sun­day night and into the early hours of Mon­day, of­fend­ers, de­scribed at one scene as two Cau­casian males both with a for­eign ac­cent, caused ma­jor dam­age in sev­eral lo­ca­tions.

On Sun­day night of­fend­ers ob­tained en­try into a ve­hi­cle parked on Macrossan St and spray-painted graf­fiti on the ve­hi­cle along with nearby prop­erty and three other ve­hi­cles.

In the early hours of Mon­day un­known of­fend­ers forced en­try into Ecco on Macrossan St, caus­ing a large amount of dam­age in­side and get­ting away with an amount of al­co­hol.

Fol­low­ing the break- and- en­ter, un­known of­fend­ers set fire to two bins on Dixie St, next to Mar­ket Park, and at­tempted to gain en­try to a num­ber of ve­hi­cles.

The of­fend­ers were dis­turbed at­tempt­ing to get into a camper­van and fled the scene.

Port Dou­glas se­nior sergeant OIC Damian Mead­ows said the of­fences are likely to be con­nected and urges any­one who saw peo­ple be­hav­ing sus­pi­ciously around 12am to 4am to con­tact po­lice.

‘‘Any­body who is pre­pared to set any­thing alight is clearly un­aware of the po­ten­tial ram­i­fi­ca­tions – it was close enough to set a car on fire and th­ese of­fences could have ended up be­ing fa­tal. You don’t play with fire,’’ he said.

‘‘Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing it and if they want to as­sist po­lice with in­quir- ies it will go some­way to mit­i­gat­ing their pun­ish­ment and I would im­plore them to cease what they are do­ing im­me­di­ately be­fore it gets out of hand and ends up caus­ing se­ri­ous dam­age and in­jury.

‘‘This is a first for Port Dou­glas, we’re not sub­jected to a lot of graf­fiti and light­ing fires is step­ping into a whole other realm.’’

Sergeant Mead­ows said they are cur­rently con­duct­ing in­quiries with cer­tain busi­nesses around town to ob­tain CCTV footage.

‘‘When the peo­ple are lo­cated they will face the full force of the law, they are look­ing at a range of of­fences in­clud­ing wil­ful dam­age by ar­son, wil­ful dam­age to ve­hi­cles,’’ he said.

‘‘The max­i­mum penal­ties for wil­ful dam­age is five years, graf­fiti in a pub­lic place is seven years and ar­son is life.’’

If any­one has in­for­ma­tion please con­tact Port Dou­glas po­lice on 4087 1999 or anony­mously on crime stop­pers 1800 333 000.

Crimes: A spate of of­fences in Port Dou­glas ranged from a break-and-en­ter to wil­ful dam­age, graf­fiti and ar­son.

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