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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    Teens nabbed on more than 75 car theft-related offences


    Cairns Police don’t expect to see a drop in the number of car thefts in the region, despite taking six boys into custody on a total of 76 property offences this week.

    The boys, aged between 14 and 17, have been charged with burglary, robbery, stealing and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

    Among those arrested during the five-day period are two 14 year-old boys from White Rock and Manoora, who’ve racked up 43 charges between them.

    It’s alleged they broke into several homes in August and September primarily to steal car keys.

    Senior Constable Russell Parker told TropicNow it’s not an unusual occurrence.

    “The common age group is anywhere from about 12 to 18.

    “They mainly go looking for car keys but they’ll grab whatever they can like phones, wallets, computer tablets and grog.”

    Two 16 year-old boys from Earlville and Mooroobool have also been taken into custody after being chased down by officers in Manoora as they fled from a car they’d allegedly stolen.

    They’ll face court on 14 offences.

    In another similar case, a 17-year-old Mooroobool boy has been charged with 17 offences over an alleged weekend crime spree across seven suburbs to the west and south of Cairns.

    All of the teenagers will be dealt with under the Youth Justice Act.

    Senior Constable Parker says despite the arrests, he expects the cycle of car thefts to continue.

    “These offenders are repeat offenders so we do see their names come up again and again.”

    “Plus, there’s a complete lack of parental supervision so the young ones get drawn in because they see the spoils of their older relative’s labour.”

    However, he says overall, the number of cars being nicked is on a downward trend.

    So far this year, 435 cars have been stolen and although November is generally the busiest month for such offences, the 2018 figure is not expected to exceed last year’s record of 767.

    Senior Constable Parker says residents are beginning to heed the message to keep their doors locked and their car keys stashed out of sight.

    “It’s about numbers.

    “If they haven’t been a victim, someone that they know has and they hear the stories.

    “We like to think they’re listening to our message, too.”

    Police are also urging people in the community to report abandoned cars, which can be used to collect DNA that’s matched against a database of offenders.