Crooks rip off haul of cars across Mackay
CROOKS have ripped off a haul of cars across the Mackay region in recent days and burnt some to the ground.
At least six cars have been reported stolen since Thursday, including a black Holden ute, white Nissan ute, grey Nissan SUV, silver Toyota ute, dark red Honda and a white Dodge SUV.
The Daily Mercury knows of cars being taken from at least Marian, Mirani, Eton, Walkerston and Rural View at various times, and reports suggest only a white Dodge had been recovered by its owners.
Two cars were found burnt out in Eton and Marian this week, both believed to be stolen cars that were torched.
Victims have contacted the Mercury and taken to Facebook pages like Mackay Crime Watch to vent their anger and ask for help.
Mackay police did not respond to numerous requests for comment on the matter yesterday, apart from issuing a written statement from its Crime Prevention Unit in the afternoon about a theft at Walkerston - a silver Toyota.
Meanwhile, Facebook posts and comments about car thefts spread far and wide.
Deanna Soper was frustrated her husband Greg Soper's Holden was stolen from Mirani-Boldon Rd, Marian, on Thursday while he was out cutting cane.
It was left unlocked with the keys in the ignition - a common practice in out-of-the-way rural areas - alongside other cars tucked away in a shed.
The ute was found on Sunday gutted by fire just off Bucasia Rd, Rural View.
"It wasn't the best looking ute... but it was his baby. He just wants his old ute back," Mrs Soper said.
House keys, documents and a generator were also stolen.
"It scares the hell out of me that they took our house keys.
"I've got a 21-year-old daughter and now she's paranoid as all hell," Mrs Soper said.
When it came to what's driving the thefts, Mrs Soper believes a lack of jobs, an availability of drugs and lax court sentences have created a perfect storm.
Mrs Soper agreed a current list of stolen vehicles, like the one that is distributed regularly out of the Townsville police, should be adopted by Mackay police.
Police had told Mrs Soper that they were chasing leads in relation to the theft of the ute, she said.