Petty Thieves Prey on Easy Pickings; {UNLAWFUL ENTRY} {ATTACKS ON PEOPLE} DRUGS

Article excerpt

Byline: Melissa Grant melissa.grant@dailymercury.com.au

ATTACKS against people are dropping but Mackay residents should be wary of property theft.

Queensland Police statistics show while most crimes against the person were down in the 2008/09 financial year, theft rose.

It is a trend that may continue, with Mackay police recording a further 20 per cent increase in all property crime over the last six months.

Mackay district crime manager Senior Sergeant Noela Dickinson said the statistic would drop if residents stopped making themselves a target for thieves.

"Unlocked and insecure properties account for up to 80 per cent of the break-ins," she said.

Snr Sgt Dickinson said many of the offenders were known to police.

"The majority of them are juveniles," she said.

"They are people known to us - people we monitor and are investigating."

Snr Sgt Dickinson said police were concerned about the recent rise in property thefts. In November Bob Marsh was one of the victims of a series of thefts in the Glenella, Mt Pleasant and North Mackay areas.

The 67-year-old described the theft as brazen after chasing the offender, who stole his spare tyre, down the street.

While unlawful entry in 2008/09 was up 22.61 per cent, the number of non-sexual assaults was down 5.36 per cent and sexual offences down 13. …