Hotel target of another break-in

IT'S a case of deja vu for Rockhampton businessman Will Cordwell.

The Ascot Hotel owner, who has been campaigning for tougher penalties for young criminals after his hotel was broken into several times in recent weeks, has been hit again – twice over the weekend.

Yesterday, Will said he would meet Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten tomorrow to air his concerns about youth crime in the city.

He said early Sunday morning a gang of youths smashed a window to the laundry at his Musgrave St hotel to gain access.

They stole a ute that was later crashed into a nearby business.

Overnight Friday two thieves stole bottles of rum and vodka from his hotel's bottle shop on Richardson Rd.

Will said he was unsure whether the ute crash was an attempt at a ram raid on the other business.

He said CCTV footage showed eight youths had broken into his hotel.

The popular businessman has already shelved plans for a $30million redevelopment of the hotel until the situation was brought under control.

Late last month, five youths were charged in relation to a break-in at the hotel.

While Will went along to the Children's Court on the day the youths appeared he wasn't allowed to sit in and hasn't been able to find out how they were dealt with.

“Our system, and all the money that is being spent, is not working,” Will said.

What he would like to see is a crackdown on what he has slugged “the utilities of crime” – people wearing items of clothing such as hoodies, gloves and baseball caps after sunset.

“It's high time we had a clampdown,” Will said.

Meanwhile, he said yesterday's report in The Bulletin that showed Rockhampton had a higher ratio of juveniles facing magistrates than other cities in the state, was evidence there was a problem with out-of-control youths in the area.

Police yesterday said a teenage boy had been charged in relation to the break-in at the Ascot Hotel on the weekend.

Police say four others are suspected of being involved.

And in another incident, five youths, aged between 12 and 15, have been charged in relation to the theft of a ute from Park Avenue's Mortensen St on the weekend.



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