Police have launched an operation targeting looters preying on flood victims across the southeast.
Operation Uniform Nash will draw resources from across the state, including plain clothes, railway squad, dog squad and specialist police officers, who will engage in around the clock local patrols in flood-affected areas to deter the behaviour.
One man has already been charged, after he allegedly broke into the freezer of a Brisbane Road convenience store in Goodna before stealing several items.
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“Police observed a man paddling a kayak through flood waters on Brisbane Road, carrying a large amount of bait and tackle around 3pm on Monday,” Qld police said.
He’s been charged with one count of enter premise and commit indictable offence and is expected to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on March 21.
A flooded charity store in Bundamba was also broken into on Monday night, where items of jewellery and a small amount of donated cash were taken.
While a resident in Blackstone who had been evacuated returned to find their Thomas Street property had been broken into, with a door damaged and several items of value stolen.
Queensland’s Police Minister yesterday slammed those taking part in the heartless act.
“You’re not even Queenslanders when you engage in this behaviour,” he said.
“Because Queenslanders help their mates and Queenslanders support their mates, and if you’re thieving from them, you are not a Queenslander, you are a grub”.
The State’s top cop also had some stern words for the opportunistic thieves, warning Police had zero tolerance for stealing, particularly in times of disaster.
“I cannot overstate how disappointed and disgusted I am that this has occurred in areas where people have had to leave their houses,” Commissioner Katarina Carroll said.
“Through this operation, we will ensure there is a strong police presence in flood-affected areas to protect our community against heartless thieves.
“Our message to anyone thinking about stealing from homes or businesses is that you can expect police to track you down and ensure you are held responsible for your actions.”
Anyone who observes suspicious behaviour surrounding flooded properties, is urged to immediately contact Policelink on 131 444.