Youth gang’s eight- minute reign of bus ‘mayhem’
A GANG of teenagers were caught on camera laughing as they terrorised a Townsville bus driver and passengers, kicking and throwing bottles at them before robbing the till.
The eight-minute reign of "absolute mayhem" led to senior police officers venting their frustrations, saying some of the teens are well known to authorities.
Townsville police have charged two boys, aged 13 and 14, over the incident but they are still searching for the rest of the teens.
The 10 youths - both girls and boys - can be seen on the bus security cameras harassing the bus driver and a young woman, trying to steal her phone and grabbing at her handbag.
The group was successful in stealing various items from the driver and passengers, also graffitiing the bus parked outside Castletown shopping centre.
Detective Senior Sergeant David Miles said the bus driver was "quite reserved in his response", trying to call for help and attempting to close the bus doors to the group.
"These young people have then set about damaging the bus, damaging the door and causing absolute mayhem," Sen Sgt Miles said.
"(There was) no respect for property or any of the persons involved and quite frankly they think it's a joke."
A few days after the incident, one of the youths was arrested over a robbery at a Railway Estate convenience store.
Snr Sgt Miles said two young people walked into the store on Sunday afternoon, saw the attendant at the back of the shop and began to steal stock.
"The attendant has attempted to stop their escape … he has been shoulder charged and physically assaulted by the young people before they made off with a small amount of goods," he said.
Police will allege the employee suffered minor bruising and swelling after being struck a number of times as he tried to stop the pair leaving the store.
Five more of the youths were arrested on Monday night, after they were allegedly driving around Townsville in stolen cars and posting about it on social media.
There are still eight teenagers aged 13 to 16 involved in the bus attack to be arrested.
"We are positive we have been able to identify who those eight young people are," Snr Sgt Miles said.
"It will be our intention to have them before the courts and dealt with by the youth justice provisions in the near future."
Snr Sgt Miles said the five teenagers, charged with a total of 31 offences, were known to police in some capacity.
He said the ongoing spate of crime was extremely concerning for Townsville police.
"These young people are exhibiting behaviour that demonstrates that have no concern for the consequences, they have no concern for other people's property or community standards," Snr Sgt Miles said.
"Unfortunately we see these people appear before us time and time again; our options are to use the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.
"The reality is for these young people is we will hold them to account, there will be consequences, what extends as far as those consequences is a matter for the courts and the youth justice system.
"It is out of our hands."