Make yourself a hard target

Senior Constable Mike Brantz

Just over three years ago a couple of young crooks made their way from Hervey Bay to Rainbow Beach on a working holiday – and by ‘working holiday’, I mean they came here to steal stuff. When they left town a couple of days later, two houses had been broken into and heaps of property – including a local’s car – had been stolen.

“That was three years ago. What’s the point of this story?” I can hear you ask. The point is, last month one of these crooks (who I shall call ‘Felon’ for the purpose of this article) came back to town, and he arrived the same way he left three years ago – in a stolen car.

Now I can only guess at his reason for coming back to Rainbow Beach, as it appears he was heading much further south. But my theory goes something like this…

Felon and his mate are in Hervey Bay and want to go to Brisbane – but have no transport.  They decide to steal a car and can’t believe their luck when they find one with the keys inside…  They head off, taking the back road down the coast to avoid unnecessary attention on the highway (after all they are breaching the CHO’s non-essential travel directive).  

Along the Maryborough Cooloola Road they see a road sign advertising Rainbow Beach and Felon says to his mate “Bro, let’s go to Rainbow Beach, I’ve been there. We’ll be able to get a nicer car and other stuff, cause people there are too trusting and don’t lock up their houses”.

While this does sound a bit like a fairy-tale, I’m willing to bet there’s an element of truth in there too. Felon certainly didn’t have too much trouble getting into houses in Rainbow three years ago, and the car he stole back then had the keys in the ignition!

Places can get a reputation for being easy targets, and this is not a reputation that we want here on the coast – let’s instead make ourselves ‘hard targets’.

‘Target hardening’ is a term often associated with business security – but can easily be adapted to home security as well. It simply means taking measures to strengthen the security of your building to reduce the risk of theft.

As Mick stated in last month’s article ‘Now is the time to take a few extra security precautions: lock your cars and homes and secure the keys. Don’t be alarmed – but do be alert.’  Simple, great advice…

To wrap up the story of Felon, and his recent visit to Rainbow Beach – let’s just say it didn’t go exactly as he planned. He and his mate left empty handed, thanks to some ‘alert’ locals who thwarted his two attempts to steal a car. In fact, Felon’s second attempt ended with an irate local jumping on the bonnet of his car, ripping off his windscreen wiper.

While we can’t condone this course of action (your personal safety is way more important than any property), I’m sure Felon will think twice before considering another ‘working holiday’ in Rainbow.

Target hardened…