‘Disgrace’: Stolen car owner left $50K out of pocket
A SCENE of stolen car mayhem descended across Townsville at the weekend, leaving innocent drivers injured, police caught in the middle and one angry car owner more than $50,000 out of pocket.
At least three separate stolen cars wreaked havoc from Friday night to Sunday, ripping up sporting fields, driving dangerously on busy roads, and risking the lives of countless motorists.
The weekend of madness began on Friday, when the fields of rugby union club, Teachers West, were destroyed for the third time in less than six months.
Club stalwart Terry Shiells said the stolen vehicle drove through the bollards and performed doughnuts on the ground.
"We just had a working bee a couple of weeks ago and with the rain the grounds were looking terrific," Mr Shiells said.
"It's fairly heartbreaking for the group that do it. It's a council facility but the volunteers do a lot of work."
On Saturday night, a woman was taken to hospital after another stolen car crashed into her at Dalrymple Rd and fled the scene.
Police confirmed the driver of the stolen Mitsubishi Lancer, which was taken from Hermit Park the same day, ploughed into the innocent driver about 6pm, and didn't stick around to see if she was okay.
Paramedics took her to hospital as a precaution, and the Lancer was found dumped at Garbutt.
The chaos worsened on Sunday, when a stolen Volkswagen Amarok almost wiped out a police officer and crashed out the front of Centrelink at Aitkenvale.
The car's owner, known only as Ray, told the Townsville Bulletin he had no idea his car had been stolen when he woke to a call from police about 8.30am on Sunday.
Police told the 29-year-old that his car had been involved in a fuel drive-off at Caltex Service Station in Pimlico.
The thieves had broken into his apartment in the early hours of Sunday morning and stolen his keys, before hitting the streets with at least four young people packed inside.
Just before 10am, the vehicle was spotted "driving at excessive speeds" near Elizabeth St, Aitkenvale.
At 10.30am, the vehicle was "hooning, doing laps and burn outs" in Easterbrook Cres and Neptune Rd, Kirwan.
About 12.50pm, the car sideswiped a police vehicle on Nathan St, but thankfully no-one was injured.
The carnage finally came to a halt after the car smashed into a traffic light pole on Ross River Rd, ploughed through bushes and crashed in the parking area of Centrelink at Aitkenvale about 1.45pm.
Moments before the crash, dashcam footage shows the car speeding down the wrong side of the road past Stocklands Shopping Centre.
Four youths fled from the car, with one hiding underneath a nearby home, but all were quickly arrested by police.
A 19-year-old driver of the car was taken to hospital after being thrown from the vehicle.
Ray, who had been keeping tabs on the car's movements on social media, went to the scene to see the damage for himself.
His $50,000 car, which he bought three years ago, was completely written off.
Ray had only moved to Townsville in October, and had no other mode of transport.
"I hope my insurance will pay this all out," he said.
"I'm really just angry, I really hope the cops get this people put away for a bit.
"It's a complete disgrace."
A police spokesman said two females and two males, all believed to be juveniles, were assisting police with inquiries.
Charges are yet to be laid.
Originally published as 'Disgrace': Stolen car owner left $50K out of pocket