Theft gang pair jailed
TWO men who led a gang of young thieves on a stealing spree at Rainbow Beach have been sentenced to jail.
A group of eight males from Hervey Bay made a massive assault on the tourism industry when they stole $24,000 worth of gear from backpackers staying at Dingo Backpackers and property from a Rainbow Beach surf shop.
Hervey Bay's Jesse Dennis Osborne, 22, and seven others ransacked a storage shed containing 100 tourist backpacks.
They jemmied open the shed at the backpacker resort, on the night of February 2, while they were camping on Fraser Island.
The thieves were all Hervey Bay residents and mainly juveniles, besides Osborne and a 26 year old, who received an 18-month jail term for the crime. Osborne, who had been a fire twirler in a circus, was jailed when he faced court on 22 stealing charges and was labelled "un-Australian" by the magistrate.
On the same night they ransacked the backpacker shed, Osborne and his group used a sledgehammer to break into the surf shop.
They stole 50 wallets, 35 handbags, 35 belts, 19 watches, clothing and two skateboards.
Detectives found a significant amount of the property when they raided Osborne's Hervey Bay home a few days later after he and other suspects were identified on CCTV footage.
Osborne, who has been in custody for 156 days, was sentenced to 18 months in jail. He will be eligible for parole release on August 6.