A criminal way of thinking

Michael Brantz, Rainbow Beach Police

Last month I was talking to a local business owner about a string of thefts perpetrated on the guests of a Rainbow Beach caravan park over the preceding few days. Two women in their mid-twenties (driving a rented Winnebago motorhome) were the prime suspects, due to some compelling evidence against them – however the business owner wasn’t totally convinced.

“I don’t think it’s them. I mean, why would you pay that much money to rent a nice motorhome and then steal stuff from the people you’re camped next to?  It doesn’t make any sense,” he reasoned.

“That’s because you’re thinking like a law-abiding citizen and not like a criminal,” I explained to him.

Turns out these girls were definitely thinking like criminals, going on a crime spree which started in Brisbane with a fraudulently obtained driver’s licence, and ended with them being arrested on the side of the road on the Sunshine Coast – after driving their motorhome down the wrong side of the highway in an effort to get away.

You see, early in the New Year, one of the girls found an old driver’s licence in a handbag she stole.  Using this card, she managed to obtain a duplicate licence before applying for credit cards and a mobile phone account – all in the name of the poor, unsuspecting victim.

She then rented a motorhome using the fake licence and paid for it using the fake credit card. It probably cost a fair bit, but what did she care, she wasn’t going to pay off the credit card – was she?

A road trip to Rainbow Beach was next on the itinerary; checking in under the fake name and paying with the fake card.  The girls spent the next couple of days enjoying their stay in Rainbow Beach, while stealing anything that wasn’t nailed down – even a bikini off a clothes line.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the girls were eventually apprehended on the Sunshine Coast and now face a string of property and fraud offences. One of the girls was still wearing the stolen bikini when detectives came to the watchhouse to interview her – hard to talk your way out of that one…

The reason I tell this story – which is not embellished at all – is to highlight that criminals think differently.

Ownership means something to law-abiding people, but not to the common crook – they couldn’t care less.

If something of value is not secured they’re going to take it – the stress and heartache you go through when your phone or wallet is stolen means nothing to them.

So please secure your valuables – it only takes a minute, but that minute could save you weeks of pain.