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How six brazen teenage car thieves live-streamed their crimes on social media

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Six teenagers will face court on the Gold Coast after driving more than 200km an hour on the M1 in stolen cars – and livestreaming it all on social media.

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Police allege the passenger in one of the cars livestreamed the incident on Instagram.

They say it is an increasing trend among young people to showcase their crime sprees to online viewers.

Gold Coast District Acting Chief Superintendent Geoff Sheldon said members of the public called in to alert police who were also watching the youth crime show on Sunday.

“People are telling us what’s going on and we’re seeing it on the cameras,” Sheldon said.

“It used to be a ‘who dunnit’ with crime, but now it’s sit and watch Facebook or Instagram and you’ll soon see them perform stupid acts like this.

“It’s making it very easy for law enforcement.”

Two PolAir helicopters followed the cars, intercepting them after the real-life fast and furious episode.

“The idea of trying to intercept cars being driven that fast by juveniles just creates further danger, so we’re quite happy to sit off, watch where it goes and mop it up after,” Sheldon said.

“On this occasion, two different helicopters were able to catch up with the offenders responsible with nobody getting hurt and no cars damaged.”

A total of six juveniles are in custody facing dangerous driving, unlawful use, and break and enter offences.

It is alleged they stole three cars, two Mercedes and an Infiniti crossover SUV, from Broadbeach Waters early Sunday. One of the cars and its 17-year-old driver was apprehended separately to the speeding incident.

Sheldon said the prevalence of young people broadcasting their crimes on social media was increasing, contributing to the impression that youth crime was out of control.

“We talk about it a lot more. Previously you might have had a car stolen and you mightn’t have known anything about it. Now you can watch it on Instagram, you’re talking about it and everyone has seen it,” he said.

“There’s a lot more publicity in relation to crime nowadays and we’re trying to work out whether we are on the rise or not, but over a number of years the trend is going down.

“That doesn’t sit well with a number of people because we seem to see so much more of our crime.”

In February, the State Government announced tough new measures to crack down on juvenile crime, including fitting GPS trackers to high-risk 16 and 17-year old offenders on bail and stronger anti-hooning laws.

Assistant Police Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon, Queensland’s former Security and Counter Terrorism Command was appointed to lead a Youth Crime Taskforce to implement the new measures.

 

 

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