‘Get the f*** out’: Teens terrorise women in carjack spree

 

 

Young, vulnerable women travelling alone at night have become the ultimate target for "brazen" and "dangerous" juvenile criminals who police say are "getting joy" from their crimes.

The group, who are well known to police, have left southeast Queensland communities scared and women afraid to be alone in their own neighbourhoods after details of a string of shocking and violent carjacking incidents that occurred within just three hours of each other were revealed.

Queensland Police Service Regional Crime Coordinator for the Brisbane Region, Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming told The Courier-Mail crimes allegedly being committed by a small number of juveniles- some as young as 12- are persistent, recusant and carry a "we don't care" attitude.

"Despite interactions with police in the past, and other parts of the criminal justice system, they continue to offend and offend in a way that naturally creates fear in people's minds," he said.

It comes as about a dozen young crims swarmed and allegedly assaulted a young nurse about to start her late night shift last month.

It marked the start of a terrifying night of crime and would later leave multiple young women bruised and bloodied, cars destroyed, cops furious and an 18-year-old girl forced to seek therapy.

The young nurse was parking her car at the grocery store across from the Princess Alexandra Hospital when approached by two teen girls who allegedly demanded money.

Within a matter of minutes the lone nurse was surrounded by about a dozen more youths.

 

 

Police say the group allegedly "swarmed and overwhelmed" the nurse, grabbing at her before allegedly stealing her car and driving it about 25km across the city to continue their night of brazen and violent alleged crimes, which would span from the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane's south, to as far as Eaton's Hill in the north.

Ashleigh Wilkinson, 18, was pulling into her Enoggera driveway after visiting a friend at Eatons Hill when the opportunistic teens, allegedly driving the nurse's car, appeared at her home.

According to Miss Wilkinson, the group had followed her from Eatons Hill, where it's alleged the group had made an unsuccessful attempt to carjack another car driven by a young female.

"They pulled in behind me and they just jumped out, ran out to my doors, and opened them," Miss Wilkinson said.

"They were just yelling at me like 'get the f*** out. I was shocked, so it took me a minute to realise what was happening and then they started hitting me over the head a few times. I was grabbed and thrown out of the car and they stole it and drove away."

The gang would later allegedly crash both the nurse's and Miss Wilkinson's cars.

Det Supt Fleming described the crime series as a "pretty hectic" night of crime.

"These offences are borderless across the Brisbane and southeast Queensland area," Det Supt Fleming said.

"They are not particularly common, but when they happen they are incredibly confronting for the victim.

"It's that "we don't care" (attitude). It's only a small number of offenders, but the ones who pose the most risk to the community, are the ones we prioritise our investigations on."

Ashleigh Wilkinson, 18, was carjacked in her driveway in Enoggera. Picture: Tara Croser
Ashleigh Wilkinson, 18, was carjacked in her driveway in Enoggera. Picture: Tara Croser

Det Supt Fleming said the teens allegedly responsible were considered more dangerous than some criminals due to their recklessness, and he could "only assume they were getting joy out of their offending behaviour."

"It's only a really small number who are this persistent and recusant, and commit serious offences," Det Supt Fleming said.

Other victims were luckier than the young nurse and Miss Wilkinson, who was left with a bleeding ear, a bruised face and trauma which required her to seek therapy.

The Courier-Mail managed to track down one 18-year-old girl who was allegedly preyed upon by the group when driving home from her late night shift at McDonald's after midnight.

 

 

Wanting to keep her identity private, the young girl penned a letter to reflect on the terrifying ordeal, and how fortunate she feels to have been driving with her doors locked.

"People ran at my car and tried to open the door handle, which if successful, I would've been carjacked and left on the side of the road," the teen said.

"My fight or flight really took over. As soon as they bolted for my doors I had my foot on the pedal, trying to find any escape route I could. Luckily for me there was a gap in the median and I just had to escape that way.

"My heart was racing and I just wanted to be out of there as soon as possible. Immediately afterwards, when I first thought that I'd made it to safety I was so shocked and scared, and unfortunately definitely didn't feel safe in my own suburb after that."

Queensland Police’s Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming has urged people to drive with their doors locked. Picture: Josh Woning
Queensland Police’s Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming has urged people to drive with their doors locked. Picture: Josh Woning

Det Supt Fleming said police, who are thinly-stretched, will continue to prioritise jobs that perpetuate fear and cause harm.

"When offences like this are reported, we're onto it straight away," he said.

"We will always prioritise our offence investigations when there is a real risk of serious physical or mental harm to someone. And these type of offences are high priority to us.

"I know that by looking at the way my people responded to this, they came together and shared the information quickly. These people are known to us, they work hard at avoiding us, but they became a priority over a number of days."

Four of the teens ranging from 14-15 years old were charged and will be dealt with under the Youth Justice Act.

While Det Supt Fleming reminded the community to stay vigilant, and where possible provide police with recordings and descriptions of those committing inappropriate and reckless behaviour.

"My advice is drive with your doors locked, be alert to the surroundings around you," he said.

 

HOW IT WENT DOWN

 

10PM: PA HOSPITAL

 

The Courier-Mail has obtained a copy of a full staff email sent to Princess Alexandra Hospital workers the morning after a nurse was allegedly ganged up on by a group of about a dozen teens, who police alleged grabbed at her and made demands before stealing her car.

The email, sent on the afternoon of August 27 - just one day after the horrifying alleged incident took place in the carpark opposite the hospital, reminds staff of how to keep safe while coming to and from work.

Advice included in the list is to "trust and act on instincts", "stick to well-lit paths and areas", and "carry a flashlight, whistle or safety alarm".

The email also included a list of tips on what to do when dealing with a confronting situation.

At the top of the list was "wait for or create an opportunity to escape".

Also listed was "run away", "call 000" and "sound a personal safety alarm".

 

12.15AM: EATON'S HILL

 

18-year-old woman targeted when she was leaving work at McDonald's in the early hours of the morning at Eatons Hill.

"Two weeks ago, I experienced an attempted carjacking and I am so grateful that I was already prepared. People ran at my car and tried to open the door handle, which if successful, I would've been carjacked and left on the side of the road.

"I always lock my doors when I get in the car. Always. Even if it's just a trip to the shops, locking your car can really save the day. Also, I was incredible lucky to be able to think fast under pressure.

"My fight or flight really took over. As soon as they bolted for my doors, I had my foot on the pedal, trying to find any escape route I could. Luckily for me, there was a gap in the median and I just had to escape that way. My heart was racing and I just wanted to be out of there as soon as possible. Immediately afterwards, when I first thought that I'd made it to safety, I was so shocked and scared, and unfortunately definitely didn't feel safe in my own suburb after that."

 

12.40AM: ENOGGERA

 

Letter from carjack victim, Ashleigh Wilkinson who was pulled from her vehicle at Enoggera and assaulted. Wednesday 26th August, 12.40am.

 

 

"I was driving home late from a friend's place; we had just been out the night before. I was almost home when I noticed a white car pull up and start driving very close behind me. I brushed it off, thinking they were just some young drivers messing around.

"I pulled into my driveway, waiting for my garage to open, when the same car quickly pulled in behind me. Four kids, 3 girls and 1 boy from the ages of 14-16, jumped out and ran to open my doors. I was in shock.

"I didn't even have time to lock the doors or do anything because next minute they were yelling at me and hitting me over the head with their fists. The boy grabbed at my jacket and threw me out of the driver's seat. I hit the wall behind me, and my ear was bleeding.

"I felt so scared and panicked. I ran as fast as I could to the front door of our apartment and heard the kids screech off with my car, still yelling and swearing as they went. My mum called the police and we spoke to them together at about 1.30am. The same kids had already stolen another lady's car earlier and attempted the same thing with someone else.

"They totalled my car and left it on the side of the highway at 5am that morning. I still feel scared just pulling into my driveway or driving alone. I would hate for others to go through what I did. I live in a very quiet, safe area and was not expecting to be jumped by some kids and have my car stolen. One thing I can do is help others to be more aware of assault cases like this and be cautious when driving."

Originally published as 'Get the f*** out': Teens terrorise women in carjack spree



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