THE victim of a car theft believes putting parents in jail until their children stop offending could help hold teens and their parents accountable.

The Ross family had their Mitsubishi Pajero stolen from their Townsville home on Saturday morning. The car was then allegedly stopped in Babinda after an almost 300km joy-ride.

Five teenagers were arrested at the scene, including three from Cairns and two from Townsville.

Mrs Ross, who did not want to share her first name, said the current forms of discipline were not working and time in Cleveland Youth Detention Centre was not a punishment.

Rescue 510 helicopter assisted police in tracking several allegedly stolen cars over the weekend.
Rescue 510 helicopter assisted police in tracking several allegedly stolen cars over the weekend.

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"(The police) do their job and what do the kids get? A slap on the wrist and they're out in four or five weeks," she said.

"Their parents have to be made accountable. Send the parents to jail, that's what I reckon.

"The kids love Cleveland, that is the problem. Cleveland is a joke, it's a deadset joke."

When she reached out to the family of an alleged offender, her Facebook inbox was inundated with messages from one of the teen's families.

"They can't see nothing wrong with their kid or their nephew (stealing a car)," Mrs Ross said.

"I said 'all the energy you put into me, you need to put it into your son, you need to chastise your son, you need to pull him up'.

"A thief is a thief, it doesn't matter what colour you are."

Yorkeys Knob woman Rachael Rowe, whose Hyundai Accent was stolen along with her partner's Toyota HiLux on Saturday night while the pair slept, also called for tougher penalties.

Her car was found dumped in Brinsmead on Monday, while the HiLux remained missing last night.

"We've been (living) here two years and we've never had any issues, we thought we were in a good place," she said.

"But crime can happen anywhere. And nothing happens (to youths) in this system.

"And we shouldn't be out of pocket because of crime."

Brinsmead woman Sally Gardiner said her Kia Cerato, which she had spent thousands of dollars restoring, was stolen on Sunday night despite she and her housemate both having large dogs.

"I only just bought the car and I've spent a fortune on it," she said.

"It's not fair, (police) hand (juvenile offenders) to the courts and they're let go."

Among other cars allegedly stolen in Cairns over the weekend were a white Ford Kuga and black Holden Commodore, which the rescue helicopter was helping to track on Monday.

Originally published as 'Put parents in jail': Furious car theft victims speak out



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