9 April 2024

Latest stolen vehicle 'tipping point' for angry Weipa community, says victim

| Lyndon Keane

The damage to the Toyota Prado police allege was stolen from Sixt Weipa on 2 April and ended up crashing through the fence and wall of a Golf Links Estate property is significant. Photo: Supplied.

A Weipa business owner says she is at her wit’s end after losing six vehicles during a spate of property crimes across the township over the past month.

On 2 April, a Toyota Prado was allegedly stolen from the Sixt Weipa yard at Evans Landing before being used in a break-in at the Weipa Servicentre at Rocky Point and ultimately crashing through a fence and into a Golf Links Estate house.

Sixt Weipa director Gayle Collings described the latest incident as “almost like it’s a common occurrence now” and said she was frustrated the crimes were allegedly being committed by repeat offenders.

Cape York Weekly understands the alleged youth perpetrators are part of a group using an Instagram account to boast about their crimes, including driving stolen vehicles dangerously around Napranum.

READ ALSO Wannabe western Cape gangsters set social media collision course

“I fear they’re just going to be out on the streets again once they go in front of a magistrate,” Ms Collings said.

“It’s just so much wilful damage that they’ve done and we’re just over it, absolutely over it.

“It’s the same kids offending over and over and over.”

Ms Collings added she believed the latest incident, during which no one was injured, had pushed the western Cape York township to breaking point.

“This event feels like the tipping point for the town; it feels like it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she said.

“It’s different this time.

“I’m surprised no one was killed, actually; when I saw all that damage [to the car], I was just so surprised no one was killed.”

READ ALSO Rocky Point service station owner faces ‘tens of thousands’ bill for break-in recovery

Meedz Tai lives in the Eagle Terrace property the alleged offenders crashed into and she told Cape York Weekly the damage was to her and her husband’s bedroom.

“The only feeling you have is ‘what the hell happened?’” she said.

“You don’t set yourself up for something [like that] to happen.

“We have three other rooms that we can occupy for now, and once we know what’s going to happen [regarding] reconstruction of the walls, we will cross that bridge.”

Police confirmed they had charged two 14-year-old Napranum boys and a 15-year-old Napranum boy with a range of offences over the alleged incident, with two of the trio refused bail.

Ms Collings praised the efforts of police and said she was still working out what the financial impact to her business would be with three of the six vehicles already written off.

“I haven’t worked it out, but if you talk about the downtime, you’ve got it booked out on hire, it gets damaged or destroyed, it’s a loss of income; I don’t know how you’d put a cost to it if you go and add up all the downtime to those vehicles,” she said.

Luckily, neither the residents nor the alleged vehicle thieves were injured when the stolen four-wheel drive smashed through the fence and master bedroom wall of the Eagle Terrace property at about 4am on 2 April. Photo: Supplied.

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