Man’s plan to end kid crooks’ social media bragging
A GOLD Coast businessman says police should be given greater powers to nab kid crooks and their mates who post their crimes on social media.
Highland Park resident Will Hattingh caught two teens trying to break into his house last month.
Soon after the thieves allegedly went to Robert Brutman's house down the street, where they stole an SUV and Ford Falcon XR8 from his garage.
They also took keys from inside the house, his wallet and a bottle of spirits.
The members of the Southside Gang then posted videos of the crime on Instagram.
"They were doing burnouts, lighting the tyres up. I had to stop watching them," Mr Brutman said. "I look after my stuff, I work hard for everything I have and seeing my car being trashed like that, it just hurts. Then they dumped it."
Mr Hattingh, the owner of Pacific Pontoon and Pier, wants the posting of hoon videos on social media to be made illegal.
"There should be more serious consequences. If we look at what these guys are doing, most of their activity seems to be stealing cars and hooning and showing this off on social media," he said.
"In some countries if someone steals something, there is also a penalty for the person who buys the stolen goods. It kills the market for the product of crime.
" … if you use your mobile phone to take a video of hooning activity and post it online, that should be illegal. Police should have the right to take the phones away and take the cars, that way you take the means of crime away."
Mr Hattingh also called for juvenile criminals to be named and shamed and proposed a real-time hoon-tracking app that would allow users to pin locations on a map so police could better track speedsters.
"I think if a guy or a girl believe they are old enough to jump in a car and start hooning in the street, they are old enough for the media to expose them. I don't think it's fair to the community that they have their identities hidden (for legal reasons).
"It's easy for them to post their crimes on social media by pressing a couple of buttons but on the other side of the crime it's hard to know who to call because you don't dial 000 as it's not an emergency. If there was an app you could use when you see hooning activity, you type in the location and it's done."
Police found Mr Brutman's SUV on January 24. His Ford Falcon showed up on Australia Day, dumped in Palm Beach.
The registration plates had been removed.
"Everyone wants justice. My question is if the laws say they are children and they can't be held responsible for it, who is?" he said.
"You become part of a car gang, you steal a car, you know right from wrong. These kids do it because it's a thrill. They know the rules and that there are no consequences."
A 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man from Yatala have been charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Originally published as Coast man's plan to end kid crooks' social media bragging