Po­lice mop­ping up af­ter brazen teen crime spree

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

A crime spree across Moss­man and Port Dou­glas by a group of youths aged 14-17 has kept lo­cal po­lice flat out deal­ing with it.

Dozens of charges re­lat­ing to break-ins and property theft in the past fort­night has re­sulted in a tidal wave of mat­ters head­ing to court in com­ing weeks.

As po­lice clean up the mess, they have been in touch for­mally with Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil to dis­cuss ways to pre­vent crim­i­nal be­hav­iour by ado­les­cents in the shire.

The brazen­ness of the lat­est crime spree is as­ton­ish­ing.

A ve­hi­cle stolen from Port Dou­glas last week was re­cov­ered by po­lice from a cane field and im­pounded in Moss­man. Two days later as­so­ci­ates in the same group of thieves used bolt cut­ters to get into the pound and steal the ve­hi­cle once more with car keys that had not been re­cov­ered.

On Mon­day two 14-yearold boys from Ed­mon­ton and Cooya Beach and two oth­ers aged 15 and 16 from Moss­man were charged over property of­fences, in­clud­ing the theft of the four-wheel drive from the po­lice pound.

They were charged with a to­tal of 34 of­fences in­clud­ing mul­ti­ple counts of break­ing and en­ter­ing premises, steal­ing, un­law­ful use of mo­tor ve­hi­cles, re­ceiv­ing and pos­ses­sion of stolen property and other of­fences.

The ar­rests come on the back of those of two 14-yearold boys, from Edge Hill and Ma­reeba, and an Ed­mon­ton man aged 17 who were charged over the week­end in re­la­tion to sev­eral of the same mat­ters, in­clud­ing a break in to the Junc­tion Café in Moss­man.

“They are all part of pretty much the same group of youths,” said the head of Moss­man CIB, Trevor Per­ham.

“Up to a dozen of them have been in­volved in a spree in the past two weeks.

“They’ve stolen a num­ber of ve­hi­cles and used them to drive around the shire and com­mit break and en­ters in Port Dou­glas and Moss­man, but not all at the same time – we have nu­mer­ous of­fences com­mit­ted by dif­fer­ent mem­bers of that same group, who have dif­fer­ent de­grees of in­volve­ments in those of­fences.

“It’s a pro­tracted and con­vo­luted story.”

Po­lice have had to cre­ate a spread­sheet that plots in­di­vid­u­als’ in­volve­ment in this com­pre­hen­sive crime wave.

It will take time to write it all up and com­plete the charges. More peo­ple are ex­pected to be charged. Two youths have been pro­cessed in Cairns and are back out on bail.

On the agenda with com­ing talks with coun­cil is the ac­qui­si­tion of a net­work of closed cir­cuit TV cam­eras.

It was a CCTV cam­era that filmed the break in to Moss­man po­lice pound.

Ve­hi­cle stolen from Port Dou­glas, re­cov­ered in a cane field, im­pounded by po­lice — and then stolen again

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