By Senior Constable Mick Emery
Last month I had my first foot chase in about 10 years. The villain had broken into the Frying Fish café and stolen a large jar full of coins which conveniently weighed him down as we started our game of cat and mouse.
Of course, I politely, yet firmly called upon him to cease and desist, but he mustn’t have heard me because he just kept running! What happened next was much like an action movie, complete with jumping fences and other obstacles – but that is perhaps a story best told over a cup of coffee some other time, without any embellishment, I promise!
What I do need to share with you is how close many of you came to being another victim of this man’s crime spree. At one point during our searches for him, we had received information that he was somewhere in the vicinity of Manooka Drive and Tingira Close.
As we searched through the neighbourhood, we were checking houses, sheds and cars, many of which had been left wide open! Here we were chasing a habitual property thief who had just got out of jail and was desperate to avoid apprehension and many local cars had keys left in the ignition offering him a quick and easy getaway!
While it is true that we don’t have guys like this in town very often, they do turn up from time to time without warning, at which point they have usually found easy pickings.
Historically, everything from cars to fishing rods have been stolen, almost always unsecured. When asked why they were unlocked, there is always a predictable response, “This is Rainbow Beach.”
If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that, I’d probably have a jar of money as big as the one that was stolen from the Frying Fish cafe!
Speaking of which, I’m happy to report that the jar of money was recovered, along with other property stolen from houses in the neighbourhood. The villain went directly to jail and did not pass go and he had no ‘get out of jail free’ card either.
The 37-year-old was sentenced to a further two years in jail for his Rainbow Beach crime spree, but hopefully his short-lived presence in our community provided a timely reminder: lock it, or lose it.