Business owners angry as youths go on CBD crime spree
A JUVENILE crime spree throughout the Roma CBD over the weekend has left businesses reeling.
Maranoa Laundry and Andersens Flooring business owners arrived at work on Monday morning, faced with a major clean-up.
Maranoa Laundry CCTV footage showed four juveniles entered the toilet block at the back of their property at 5.45pm Sunday.
The children, believed to be aged 12 and younger, allegedly let off a fire extinguisher, hacked at the door with a meat cleaver and pulled blankets from the laundry and threw them across the toilet block floor.
The offenders stayed at the premises for about two hours, where they also brought their own bread, butter and jam to make use of the laundromat's toaster.
Maranoa Laundry's Aileen Prior said the kids had been hanging around the back of businesses, climbing trees and trespassing for the past few weeks.
"About three weeks ago we found kids up a tree out the back and we told them they were trespassing and needed to leave or we'd call the cops," she said.
"They're up on roofs and in the tree, we don't want them to hurt themselves because we'll be blamed."
Ms Prior said crates of laundry had been tipped over and the blankets thrown across the floor belonged to a client.
"We have so much of other peoples' property here that we're liable for and it's all been damaged," Ms Prior said.
Andersens' Paul Larsen said obscene graffiti had been spray painted onto a shipping container out the back of their store on the weekend.
"We have a concrete slab that got laid a week ago that now has graffiti on it," he said.
"Police have just taken away a large knife that was left here... this property is people's livelihoods."
Police believe a string of other offences that occurred during the weekend are related.
On Saturday, sometime between 9am and 9pm, rocks were thrown at the PCYC windows.
The keys were stolen from a car in Arthur St and the windows of two other cars smashed at the rugby league carnival on Saturday.
In the early hours of Sunday morning a number of juveniles reportedly entered a Roma motel swimming pool and a loose change jar was taken from the front counter of the Royal Hotel.
"We've recently experienced an increase in juvenile crime throughout Roma," Sergeant Shane Ferry said.
"Police would like to be contacted in relation to any suspicious activity or behaviour around town, including when juveniles are present."
Roma police are appealing to witnesses or anyone who might have information about any of the incidents from across the weekend.