One charged in police raids over weekend crime spree
MURGON Police have charged one juvenile and are seeking a number of other people over their alleged involvement in a weekend crime spree.
Four vehicles were stolen from Graham House between 10pm and midnight on Saturday, one was allegedly used to ram a police car at the BP Service Station when the stolen vehicle was trying to take fuel, and officers deployed stingers to stop one of the cars.
Senior Sergeant Lance Guteridge said two of the cars were seriously damaged, and the alleged theft of a fifth car from a private home in Wondai was believed to be linked.
Officers conducted raids on Tuesday morning, after receiving support from members of the Cherbourg and Murgon communities that led police to identify a number of persons of interest.
"Forensic officers from Kingaroy have located evidence which has also assisted police in the identification of persons of interest in relation of vehicles," Snr Sgt Guteridge said.
The keys for the four vehicles stolen from Graham House had been stored inside a locked key safe, which was allegedly broken into, and the keys removed.
The not-for-profit organisation's Community Transport Service used the cars to take locals as far as Toowoomba, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gympie for hospital and specialist appointments, and had to cancel trips for patients on Monday.
Since then they have been left scrambling to make sure no more patients would miss out.
Graham House manager Linda O'Hare said the damage to three cars was so bad she expected they would probably be written off.
"They have just been absolutely trashed," she said.
"That was the hard thing, I knew the vehicles had been stolen, I knew there was extensive damage to one of them, but to walk into the police holding yard and see it just makes you cry.
"Our funding is very hard won and it all goes back out into the services.
"We really try to go over and above to make sure our clients are looked after.
"To have something like this happen it really is devastating."
By reshuffling cars from other services Ms O'Hare said they were able to ensure no appointments would be missed in the next two weeks, but the service would be impacted.
"Obviously we'll be taking less bookings," she said.
"For some appointments we may be able to double up on clients.
"We're looking at whatever ways we can so people don't have to miss appointments."