FOUR teenagers, described as a rogue element among Emerald's youth, have been charged with a string of burglary, vehicle break-ins, vandalism and stealing offences.
Emerald CIB Detective Senior Constable Brian Nugent said three juvenile males, aged 14 and 15, and a 17-year-old male were due to face court on a total of 32 counts resulting from a spate of offending this year.
Det Snr Const Nugent said two of the alleged offenders were recent arrivals to Emerald, and had been “teaching the local kids bad habits”.
“We've got a group of children in town running around at night, drinking alcohol and committing offences,” he said.
Part of the bail conditions imposed on the school-age offenders is a night-time curfew, which Snr Const Nugent said was hoped to prevent them from re-offending.
In the latest offences reported to police, the Emerald Junior Rugby League Clubhouse was broken into for the fourth time this year overnight on Friday.
A first aid kit and bum bag were stolen.
A small amount of blood was found near the glass panel of a rear door at the Emerald Golf Club in Opal Street when an offender fled the scene after setting the alarm off at 2.30am on Monday.
Det Snr Const Nugent said one of the four teens was suspected of being involved, and police were awaiting the results of a DNA sample.
And, staff found a safe had been attempted to be removed from its wall mounting at a plumbing business in Roberts Street when they arrived at work on Monday.
Det Snr Const Nugent said break and enter offences had increased notably over the most recent school holiday periods.
“People need to be more aware of locking up their houses, because we have had a fair mount of ‘sneaks', where offenders cut the screens and enter homes, sometimes when people are there,” he said.
“They are generally targeting small electrical goods like mobile phones, hand-held games, laptops and iPods.
“Obviously, if people are aware of groups of youths moving around or they see someone who shouldn't be there, please give us a call.”
Separately, a 30-year-old Emerald man has been charged with five break and enters of Emerald businesses and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
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