LISTEN: Rocky businesses go digital to fight crime

SOCIAL MEDIA: Julie Newsome and Dean Brahman at Newsome’s Tyre and Mechanical with the wheels that were stolen and then returned.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Julie Newsome and Dean Brahman at Newsome’s Tyre and Mechanical with the wheels that were stolen and then returned. Allan Reinikka Rokawheel

TAKING care of business by day and fighting crime by night.

An increasing number of local Rockhampton businesses are using social media to highlight the effects of theft and burglary on small business - and some have been successful in having their stock returned.

It comes after a spate of local businesses took to social media to show the work of opportunistic thieves who took everything from leather handbags to tyres and newsagency items.

Newsome's Tyres and Mechanical owner Julie Newsome said she turned to social media for awareness when thieves cut the fence of the Gladstone Rd business late last week and made off with three wheels and tyres to the value of $700.

"We posted on Facebook just to see what people's reactions were and we got a reaction about half an hour after that to say they were for sale on Facebook so that was when I rang the police and got the police involved," she said.

"They bought them back on their own recognisance and left them out the back of the store.

"Social media works very well in different circumstances and I just put it out there because I was so annoyed that someone could come in and do that.

"You do get sick of it, you do your best and then to think someone could come and steal from you, you just get sick of it."

Willow and Ivy clothing boutique owner Georgina Marshall said a customer nicked a mustard coloured leather tote bag worth $250 in May.

"Big congrats to the lady that walked away with this mustard yellow leather tote today, would have appreciated if you paid for it but you chose to steal it instead which is a low act," the post read.

"As a local owned business its people like yourself that frustrate us as we work so damn hard to look after our valuable clients but clearly you have no values."

Ms Marshall said the post was an avenue to let the community and potential thieves know business "were not blinded but what actually happens".

"I did from the outcome realise so many people are affected when someone steals something," she said.

"People don't really agree that people just help themselves to things."

She said despite the power of social media and the individuality of the bag, it was yet to be returned.

"It will be sitting in someone's cupboard at the moment."

A Queensland Police spokesperson said QPS relied heavily on information provided directly to police by members of the public to assist with investigations into criminal and traffic offences.

"The QPS uses social media daily as a method of informing and engaging with the Queensland community as well as using it to gather intelligence and information," the spokesperson said.

"Risks for businesses self posting crimes committed against them can include information on how the offence was committed."


To report information about thefts contact CrimeStoppers in 1800 333 000.

Topics:  crimestoppers rockhampton business

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