Fed-up residents fork out for guard
Gold Coast residents fed up with crime in their suburbs are taking matters into their own hands, pooling thousands of dollars for a private security guard to patrol the streets.
And crooks might want to think twice before entering the suburbs he's protecting - he famously once shot an armed robber dead - a robbery gone wrong that he was not charged over or accused of any wrongdoing.
Wayne Heneker and his trusty doberman, Boss, are patrolling the streets of Benowa Waters and Sorrento after being engaged by frustrated residents sick of burglars and car thieves ransacking their suburbs.
The residents formed active community groups and launched Facebook fundraisers to hire Mr Heneker, head of security company Gold Coast Patrol Dogs K9.
Mr Heneker made headlines in 2014 when he shot an armed robber dead during a botched raid on the Highland Park Tavern at Nerang.
"I don't carry a gun on patrol these days but my dog does have a mouthful of very sharp teeth," he said.
Mr Heneker was first hired by Benowa Waters residents in June after a spate of crimes including a brazen luxury car theft where the homeowners were nearly run over.
"We had to do something proactive before someone was killed or seriously hurt," Benowa Waters Residents Committee spokesman Mannu Kala said.
"We've had zero break-ins and zero car thefts since Wayne and his team started. We have nearly 900 residents and have asked each of them to contribute $250 to fund him for a whole year."
Mr Heneker said while individual residents had long employed security guards to keep watch over their homes, it was a 'new thing' for a whole community to unite to protect their entire suburb.
"We know we're not a police service and don't have police powers but we do act as a deterrent to keep offenders and wannabe gangsters out of the area," he said.
So vigilant is Mr Heneker in detecting suspicious activity that since starting his Sorrento patrols last week, he was alerted to what thought was a suspect car - only to find out it was a local returning home in an Uber after a big night out.
The newspaper delivery man was also intercepted.
"It's far better to be safe than sorry," Mr Heneker said with a chuckle.
Mr Kala said residents were resorting to hiring private security guards because police were 'stretched' and laws were not strong enough to keep criminals locked up.
Originally published as Fed-up residents fork out for guard