‘Out of control’ 13yo car thief arrested again
A YOUNG repeat car thief whose shocking criminal history was aired in court last month for his part in a horror crime spree has been arrested again for allegedly stealing more vehicles.
The Townsville Bulletin can reveal the boy, just 13, was one of two alleged offenders arrested after fleeing a crashed Australian Institute of Marine Science car stolen from Belgian Gardens on Monday night.
He is also accused of stealing a Mitsubishi from Idalia which was involved in a string of crimes at the weekend before it was dumped, police have confirmed.
The boy was last month in court for allegedly stealing a Nissan Navara, which was one of the vehicles seen driving at speed on the wrong side of the road, crossing over median strips in Townsville's suburbs during a horror crime spree.
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On Tuesday, the boy fled from police after crashing the allegedly stolen car adjacent to Stockland Shopping Centre and was arrested at nearby Aitkenvale State School.
His co-accused, 18, allegedly spat on an officer when he was taken into custody which has been condemned by politicians and fellow police.
The 13-year-old boy, who has been in state care since 2016, has been charged with two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and other property related offences.
Burdekin MP Dale Last said it was another example of the failings in the Youth Justice system.
"What we basically have is a serial offender at the age of 13 who simply is out of control and, if this juvenile is in the care of the State, it makes the situation even worse," he said.
"If someone is in the care of the State it is to help them, not to let them continue to dive deeper and deeper into a life of crime.
"When it comes to serial offenders, we need to focus on the safety of the community and the victims rather than giving the offender free reign to continue to offend."
Last month during a failed bail application the court heard he allegedly stole the Navara five days after he finalised other offences. He had been in and out of court for 26 offences since June, the court heard.
The Queensland Police Service nor The Department of Youth Justice were unable to say whether the matters from last month had been finalised.
Youth Justice Minister Di Farmer said she couldn't comment on specific individuals.
"The community expects young people to be held accountable and so do we," she said.
"We are dealing with a very small number of repeat offenders in Townsville that have very complex backgrounds and needs."
"Their offending behaviour has taken years to develop and it will take time and intensive support to turn their lives around - there is no quick fix."
The Townsville Bulletin has previously reported on the boy's tragic upbringing. His father is in prison for murdering the boy's mother and as such he has been in care since November 2016.