Crime spree grang has rich residents living in fear
RESIDENTS in Brisbane's blue-chip Ascot, Clayfield and Hamilton are being terrorised by
brazen thieves who are smashing windows and baiting dogs to break into multimillion-dollar properties and steal luxury cars.
"Worried sick" locals are "scared to leave their homes" because of the notorious Northside Gang which brags about its heists on social media.
In a robbery earlier this week, young thugs trashed a Clayfield property, leaving behind dirty socks after trying on - knocking off - one woman's entire collection of designer shoes.
Crime has been escalating in the area for some time, and frightened locals are demanding action.
More than 200 people packed into the Brisbane Racing Club on Thursday night for a crime forum hosted by long-serving Clayfield MP and former Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls and Queensland Police.
Senior Sergeant Paul French, Officer-in-Charge of Hendra Police, told the crowd that luxury cars - Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, Audi and BMW - were key targets because it was "better to be seen (online) driving around in a Merc than a beat-up old car".
He urged residents to install CCTV cameras and sensor lights, and announced a new Tactical Crime Squad to boost the number of officers in the area and improve response times.
From this weekend, 10 police officers from Fortitude Valley and five from Boondall stations will be redeployed to Hendra station in a six-month trial to clean up crime.
The squad will use automatic number plate recognition equipment to detect stolen vehicles, and Polair helicopters for dangerous pursuits.
Bicycle patrols will also begin, requiring additional officers, in a three- to six-month trial.
The 4007/4011 community Facebook page has been inundated with crime reports.
Brooke Westaway posted on Wednesday that her Clayfield home had been "ransacked".
"We are devastated, everything you can think of is gone … these guys are ruthless; they smashed a back pane of glass to get in."
Kelly Cleary said: "My house was broken into recently and they ransacked it too. It's a horrible feeling. It doesn't feel safe living in Clayfield right now. Scary times!"
Mother of five, Pep Hampson, also of Clayfield, said three houses nearby had been robbed in the past week. "I am worried sick every night when the kids and I go to bed."
Tiffany O'Rourke posted that her dog had been baited by young males who jumped her fence and tried to unlock car doors before her husband scared them off.
"My family is absolutely devastated to have lost our six-year-old dog who was the heart of our home. We cannot believe the level they have gone to for theft. Keep an eye on your pets, be vigilant. Life can be so, so cruel."
Hendra resident Tricia Steffen, who runs the 4007/4011 page, said locals were "feeling violated and some scared to leave their houses".
"We need a positive plan to try to change legislation around sentencing of these young offenders, as well as reassuring our community we are not living in The Bronx."