Moomba thug now alleged carjacker as Victoria’s top cop holds Youth Summit
- Syndicates recruit Melbourne teens for violent crime sprees
- Police shift focus to help runaways
- Baseball bats in short supply as terrified residents take up arms
- Refugee parents send kids back to Africa to escape crime scourge
- Melbourne teen gang leaves trail of violence and destruction
A MOOMBA rioter offered a second chance by the courts has repaid society by carjacking a terrified father, his wife and their 12-year-old daughter, it is alleged.
The 17-year-old is among nine teens charged over an 80-minute crime spree in which a home was raided and two drivers were separately attacked in Melbourne’s west on Monday.
A lawyer representing one boy said his client committed the crimes for no other reason than “he thought it would be fun”, adding “unfortunately, it’s a modern scourge”.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton is hosting 200 leaders at an unprecedented Youth Summit, aiming to tackle escalating violent crime by teens.
As part of a four-month investigation the Herald Sun, a partner in the summit, can also reveal:
STATE care runaways go missing on average six times a year, committing crimes or falling victim to predators;
MIDDLE Eastern syndicates and bikies are recruiting children as young as 12, and;
CAR thefts by children have soared by more than 40 per cent in five years.
In court on Wednesday, police alleged the agile offenders behind the Monday crime spree — some aged just 13 — broke into the second storey of a Sunshine home at 10.30pm, rummaging through the room before being disturbed by the resident, and escaping into a nearby stolen car.
Half an hour later the gang used the stolen white Corolla to box in a Ford Falcon on McIntyre Rd, Sunshine, with one of the teens approaching the car armed with a hammer, the court heard.
The frightened driver accelerated away as one of his attackers allegedly smashed a window with the weapon.
At 11.28pm, the youths allegedly stalked a BMW from St Albans McDonald’s to the driveway of a nearby home.
Police say one of the boys threatened to kill the driver, who received cuts and a broken wrist when he was attacked in front of his wife and young daughter — also assaulted as she was dragged from the $90,000 car.
Seven people were arrested fleeing police from McDonald’s 20 minutes later, with officers arresting four others after tracking the stolen BMW to Taylors Hill. The 17-year-old was on Wednesday remanded to face court next month on six charges, including stealing the luxury car, attempted armed robbery of the Ford, and assaulting the St Albans father.
It comes less than three weeks after the teen was granted a deferral by a children’s magistrate over a previous car theft and his involvement in the Moomba riots.
Deferral of sentencing is an option for courts to allow offenders to rehabilitate themselves.
Court proceedings are continuing for most of the boys charged over the violent scenes in Melbourne’s CBD on March 12.
A magistrate on Wednesday denied bail to three of the seven teens accused of this week’s rampage after hearing they had each been on several counts of bail when the attacks occurred.
“There’s no rhyme or reason about it. They are not drug or alcohol affected, they are just violent,” she said.
In refusing one 17-year-old bail despite his guilty plea, another magistrate said the teen had caused “untold harm” to his victims.
YOUTH CRIME SUMMIT
EDUCATION and job opportunities for the young and what drives violent behaviour are among issues to be examined at the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner’s Youth Summit on Thursday.
Top cop Graham Ashton will address around 200 leaders from government departments, agencies and community organisations to kick off the event, supported by the Herald Sun.
Criminology expert Prof Mark Halsey, from Flinders University, and Salvation Army youth services manager Hayley Troemml-Wilson will also address the gathering tackling young people’s involvement in serious and violent crime.
The discussion will include education and employment, personal safety and victimisation, vulnerability to violent behaviour, mental health and substance misuse.
Mr Ashton said a broader understanding of what was driving youth crime was needed if recidivism was to be addressed.
“This summit for me is an opportunity to learn about the factors — but also importantly what do we have to do, and who’s got to do what to address the issues,’’ he said.
An understanding of the role of parents was also important, he said.
AFL Victoria, the Australian Drug Foundation, Berry Street, Crime Statistics Agency, Education Department, Justice Department, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Federation of Community Legal Centres, Islamic Council of Victoria, Law Institute Victoria Parliament of Victoria, Police Association of Victoria, Victoria Legal Aid and Youth Affairs Council are among organisations attending.