Property crime spike linked to prison escapee and mates
PRISON escapee Levi James Brown and his associates are allegedly linked to the latest spike in property crime to hit Mackay, according to police.
Detective Inspector Brendan Smith said there was "certainly intelligence to suggest" Brown and his associates could be involved in approximately a dozen property crimes that occurred in Mackay at the weekend and last week.
Levi James Brown, 25, has been on the run for two weeks after absconding from the Rockhampton Showgrounds with another inmate on June 4 while undertaking community service. He was a low-security prisoner of Capricornia Correctional Centre and serving seven years for aggravated unarmed robbery.
Det Insp Smith said police believe Brown is still in Mackay and is getting support from someone in the community.
"They need to understand they are committing offences themselves by aiding this offender, and unless he is caught soon there are going to be some friends and associates who will see some time in court for assisting him," he said.
"He was incarcerated for a reason, he needs to go back and do his time. There is certainly intelligence to suggest he and his associates may be involved in the recent property crime spike here in town."
Det Insp Smith said police were hot on the heels of those behind the thefts.
"I think they know we are on to them because of some of the driving antics that have been involved in trying to apprehend them," he said.
"They have no respect for other people's property and it is important we get them off the street as soon as possible."
The property offences have been almost exclusively break-ins into businesses, including three along Cemetery Rd on Saturday night.
A Paget business was broken into on Friday morning, the offenders allegedly ploughing through a fence to escape the premises in a stolen ute.
Crime Prevention Unit Acting Sergeant Steve Smith said this type of offending was unusual for Mackay.
"But they are not finding open doors or windows... the change of catching an offender when they have to take those measures [of forced entry] increases significantly," he said.
Crime statistics for May revealed offences against property, including break and enters, car theft and handling stolen goods had fallen to levels unseen in Mackay since August 2015.