The stark reality of Queensland’s prolific crime spree has been caught on video as police investigate a string of shocking break-ins at a popular tourist area.
Officers released CCTV footage on Wednesday of a van and four people they believe could help investigators following a string of break-ins on the Gold Coast.
Police allege two offenders broke into multiple businesses, namely chemists and medical stores, between July 14-August 20, before fleeing with resealable items.
The alleged crime spree began shortly after 2am on July 14 when two people allegedly smashed the front window of a chemist on Vaughan Dr in Ormeau, damaging shelving before fleeing with a quantity of men’s fragrances.
Less than two hours later, two people matching the same description allegedly broke into a second business – an optometrist on Fairfield Rd in Yeronga – by smashing the front windows and fleeing with stock, including lenses.
The following week, two people are alleged to have again smashed the window of a chemist on Nexus Dr in Pimpar, breaking into a fragrance cabinet before fleeing in a white van. On August 12, the same chemist was again attacked.
Police allege about 1.30am a man and woman – wearing hoodies, masks, and gloves – broke into the store using a crowbar before smashing the fragrance cabinets and loading bins with products. The group then fled in a white van.
A further two alleged attacks were reported to police in August, including at the Ormeau store in which the culprits left empty-handed, and at the Pimpara chemist where the offenders are believed to have taken a quantity of medicine.
Police believe the alleged offenders used the same white Toyota Hiace van in all the offences, with small changes made between thefts, including removing distinctive black roof racks and differing number plates.
The van is possibly a 2006 model and police say has at times been sighted with NSW number plates attached.
Officers are also investigating if it is linked to several fuel drive-offs across the region.
National’s senator Matt Canavan told the Today Show on Wednesday state governments needed to back police forces and ensure laws were in-place to combat a spiralling crime spree and recidivism, particularly among youth offenders.
“In Queensland, the Queensland government back in 2019 changed their law so that for youth offenders judges had to take a presumption in favour of release,” Mr Canavan said.
“That was their words, a presumption in favour of release. The consequences of that is playing out on the streets every day.
“They need to reverse that, get rid of that, because throwing kids back in the gang environment, often with no parental supervision, is leading to the worse rates in the country.”