Taxi driver one of many victims of teenage boys' three-week crime spree
Taxi driver one of many victims of teenage boys' three-week crime spree Blainey Woodham / Tweed Daily Ne

Taxi armed robbery during teens' three-week crime spree

TWO teenage boys who used a spanner and a knife in the armed robbery of a taxi were amid a 21-day crime spree across Central Queensland.

They were 14-years-old at the time they carried out more than six burglaries, unlawful use of motor vehicles, driving unlicensed, stealing, break and enter and common assault between May 8-29, 2018.

The boys, who had extensive juvenile criminal histories, were sentenced in Rockhampton District Court this week.

Crown prosecutor Will Slack said the conduct by this pair shows they are a danger to the community.

Judge Michael Burnett said the boys broke into homes and businesses in Yeppoon, Cedar Park and Rockhampton, taking handbags, car keys and subsequently motor vehicles.

He said, in a foiled robbery, they broke into one shop by smashing the window and then tried to open a safe.

The court heard on May 15, about 4.30am, a Rockhampton taxi driver was approached by the boys and he asked them for payment up front.

After one of them handed over a $50 note, they hopped in to the taxi and directed the driver to a Rockhampton address.

When the driver stopped and reached to get change, one of the boys placed a spanner to his head and the other placed a knife to his neck.

"Give me us your money or die," they told him.

The court heard the driver told them he stashed money in the boot and they got out of the taxi to access the boot.

While at the back of the vehicle, the driver was about to strike at one of the youths and then grab a stick, which was used to strike at the other when both boys ran off.

The next day, they carried out a petrol drive off.

One of the juveniles broke into a kindergarten and stole a mobile phone.

He was also spotted by police driving motor vehicles on May 11 and 13.

Judge Burnett said police tried to intercept him, but he speed off.

"Due to your age, obviously you've held a licence," he said.

Judge Burnett said the same teen carried out five burglaries on his own - three of which were accompanied by stealing keys and subsequently, cars.

He said this teen had a "particularly undesirable criminal history", including being involved in the armed robbery of a Frenchville store with others for which he was sentenced in April last year.

Judge Burnett said the teen had a 'significantly disadvantaged upbringing' with itinerant parents and attended 19 schools.

"While your parents had age appropriate rules in place, you did not abide by them," he said.

Instead, he associated with negative peers.

"It's unfortunate your peer group is well-known to youth justice services," Judge Burnett said.

He ordered this teen to a 20-month detention order to serve 65 per cent.

The other teen had 44 property offences on his criminal history, which were racked up when he left his grandmother's house and spent weeks at a time in Rockhampton, hanging around "undesirable people".

Judge Burnett ordered the second teen to a 13-month detention order to serve 50 per cent.

Juvenile offending facts

Magistrates court: 401 Juvenile defendants on 1524 charges in 2016-17, down from 466 defendants on 1888 charges in 2015-16

Children's Court of Queensland: 9 juvenile defendants on 22 charges, down from 12 defendants on 59 charges

Source: Childrens Court of Queensland Annual Report 2016-17



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