Smash and grabs 'copy cats': police

POLICE believe many of the recent smash and grab offences plaguing south-east Queensland have been the acts of copy cats.

Police this week established Task Force Perpetual to investigate more than 190 offences committed in the state's south east corner including the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, Brisbane and Ipswich.

The crimes include 77 break and enter, 30 stealing, 30 unlawful of motor vehicle and 30 evade police offences.

However, police believe the crimes are far from the working of an organised criminal syndicate.

"We believe there is more than one group," State Crime Operations Command Detective Chief Superintendent Gayle Hogan said on Wednesday. 11/4

"There are probably two to three groups of offenders.

"We believe quite a lot of the offences are copycat offences. A number of them are opportunistic.

"There seems to be a lack of sophistication but the offences are quite dangerous…"

There are so many of these offenders, Det Chief Supt Hogan said, that they just filled in after others were arrested and continued to commit the offences.

Seven people, including two teenagers from Rockhampton, one from Ipswich and another from Chinchilla, were arrested after a reckless car chase through Brisbane on Monday and are also being investigated for possible involvement in other property offences.

Police have identified more than 30 persons of interest in total.

"We are looking to see how many of these people are together, how many are committing the offences and whether they are committing in groups or as individuals," she said.

"Most of them are in groups where there are more than three or four offenders committing the offences."

Det Chief Supt Hogan would not comment on whether police had their eye on other suspects from regional Queensland.

Asked whether police believed offenders were being drawn to Brisbane from outer-lying areas to participate in these crimes, Det Chief Supt Hogan refused to "speculate."



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