If anyone ever doubted the power of social media here is yet another example of how police and highly motivated members of the public who become victims of crime are using Facebook, Twitter and the various other forms of on line media to track down criminals and assist police with solving crime and protecting the community.
On Friday the 3rd of June a silver/grey Toyota Landcruiser Utility was stolen from the industrial estate in Yandina whilst the owner was working less than 5 metres away.
Police had very little initial evidence to suggest who had taken the vehicle and where it may have been taken too so all police units within the Sunshine Coast District were advised to be on the lookout for it.
Of course, with such a huge area the chances of a police unit coming across the stolen car were not good. Needless to say, the owner of the stolen car was devastated.
The 2014 Landcruiser was his pride and joy with countless hours put into outfitting his rig to turn it into a home away from home ready for a trip to far North Queensland in three weeks time. The vehicle had thousands of dollar’s worth of accessories including a boat hoist, solar panels, winch, spotlights and bar lights, fridge/freezer and toolboxes with thousands of dollar’s worth of tools inside.
Instead of sitting and waiting for the insurance payout the family commenced a social media blitz which included posting photographs of the stolen vehicle online including on 4×4 enthusiasts websites. Within hours a very alert member of the public contacted the owner stating that he had just seen the car in Kawana.
As luck would have it a police unit was at the same location investigating another offence and with the help of the car owners and family friends who had travelled down to Kawana to look for the vehicle and the very alert member of the public the stolen car was located shortly after.
Police have identified a potential suspect for this matter and further inquiries are being made in regards this incident. The vehicle has now been returned to the owner in good condition and virtually unscathed and the Cape York trip is back on the planning table which is a huge bonus for the very relieved Cooroy local.
I thought I would share this story so people are aware of how they can assist themselves and the police in solving crime.
Police greatly encourage victims of crime to be proactive in not only preventing crime by being security conscious and by locking and securing property at all times but also with posting and sharing information amongst their local community, family and friends and passing all information onto the police.
In this instance the families posts were shared thousands of times within hours of the offence occurring which equates to thousands of community members being on the lookout for this vehicle and not just a couple of police cars who are busy with day to day policing jobs.
A huge well done to all who were involved in this incident and I have no doubt that that cold beer on the beach at Bamaga will go down all the better with this outcome.
Sergeant – Officer in Charge, Cooroy Police Station| Queensland Police Service