11 April 2024

Enough is enough: Cooktown business targeted again

| Chisa Hasegawa
Caritta and Grant Fagberg

Caritta and Grant Fagberg have been robbed three times since starting their Cooktown pizza business last year. Photo: Supplied.

A Cooktown business has been vandalised and robbed for the third time by an alleged youth gang after opening only 12 months ago.

Caritta’s Pizzas has already faced a repair bills of more than $2,000 and are currently unable to open for lunch while their van undergoes another round of repairs.

Co-owner Grant Fagberg said he believed the same youth, aged around seven to 13 years old, had come each time, stealing Nutella and soft drinks.

“Each time they’ve broken in, we’ve improved our security measures,” he said.

“The last repair cost us $1,650 all for the sake of half a tub of Nutella and a dozen soft drinks.”

Mr Fagberg said the kids would attempt to break in whether it was day or night, leading to the decision to operate for dinner service only while waiting for new security measures.

“We can’t lock our van up, so we can’t leave it on site,” he said.

“We’ve got to bring it home, because as soon as we drive off, it doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the day or not, they’re in.”

He said he had identified six individuals and had them on camera and reported to police.

“The prosecutor told the police to go around and give them a good talking to,” Mr Faberg claimed.

“These kids are running around knowing that they have complete anonymity and impunity from the law; they’re doing these things in broad daylight in full view of the police station; we park our van directly opposite the police station.

“Everyone’s just fed up, because we all know who they are and the police are the same, and yet these kids from around seven to 13 at most are holding us all to ransom.

“People are starting to take things into their own hands, and these kids are going to get seriously hurt.”

Mr Fagberg also claimed the same group was consistently targeting the elderly at Endeavour Lodge, a local aged care residence, although the Queensland Police Service (QPS) could not confirm the link to Cape York Weekly.

QPS were unable to comment about the incident at Caritta’s Pizzas, but did say they were investigating two break-ins at a “Howard Street address”.

Jack Martin, a senior resident at Endeavour Lodge on Howard Street, said he no longer felt safe in his own home after being broken into and robbed several times.

“They just keep coming back, because they know we’re older people and an easy target,” he said.

A QPS spokesperson said the two incidents at Mr Martin’s residence were being investigate.

“Initial information indicates just before 10pm on February 23, unknown offenders have knocked on the door of the property before stealing items from the front porch and inside a vehicle,” the spokesperson said.

“Around 6:45pm on March 2, unknown offenders have knocked on the back door of the same property before stealing a camera from inside.”

“I put [the camera] on my coffee table and went to the toilet, and when I came out, it was gone,” Mr Martin said.

“They must have been waiting or very close when I exclaimed that we’ve got them on film, and they’ve come in and taken the camera.

“It was just heart-breaking and frightening.”

Mr Martin said he was not used to living in a society he had to “be paranoid” about.

“We have to lock our doors, even if I’m sitting in the lounge, where I can see my front door and my front garden,” he said.

“I’m 80 years old and I’ve never lived like this; you used to be able to trust your neighbours and trust the people that live in your town.”

Broken door

Business owner Grant Fagberg says he does not doubt the alleged thieves will be back after repairs are again completed. Photo: Supplied.

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