Grey nomads ‘shattered’ as car jackers crash caravan

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caravan theft in Townsville shocks grey nomads
David Bent talks with a police investigator after his caravan was stolen and crashed. PIC: Townsville Bulletin

A grey nomad couple who were about to set off on one final big trip across Australia have had their dreams shattered by a ‘horrible’ car jacking incident.

David Bent was attaching his beloved caravan to his Toyota LandCruiser at his Townsville home when a young juvenile jumped in the vehicle and took off.

The would-be thief only got about 30 metres before rolling the van as he attempted to go around a corner.

Witnesses told the Townsville Bulletin that the juvenile, who was wearing a mask and gloves, ‘floored it’ as he took off, with the caravan rolling sideways almost instantly.

David’s shocked wife, Anne, said it was just lucky her husband wasn’t seriously injured.

“He’d only attached one chain and was behind the vehicle when someone jumped into the driver’s seat and drove it off,” she said. “David thankfully jumped out of the way of the caravan … he’s pretty shattered, we’re both pretty shattered.”

Mrs Bent speculated that the thieves didn’t know the LandCruiser was attached to the caravan.

“It didn’t go far but the caravan has been dragged on its side, he jumped out and was picked up by the vehicle that had presumably just dropped him off,” she said. “I came out of the house after hearing the noise … it’s just a shocking, brazen, horrible, opportunistic event.”

The Townsville Bulletin reports that the Bents had just sold the caravan which had served them so well for years. They were about to drive to Victoria to deliver the van to the new owners, and to enjoy one last final adventure in it.

“They’d paid a deposit and they wanted us to drive it there and not freight it there,” Mrs Bent said. “So, we were booked to stay in Emerald tonight but clearly we’re not going to get there.”

The incident is among multiple serious incidents involving stolen cars in Townsville in the last 24 hours.

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39 Responses to Grey nomads ‘shattered’ as car jackers crash caravan

  1. Dreadful. I feel for the Bents.

  2. Bring back the pillory

    • Bring back national service

      • Here here

      • Sorry but National Service is not the place for these criminals, goal in a tent like in Arizona, minimal comfort. Maximum discomfort.

      • I did my national service in 71/72 and I can assure you that noone would want these scumbags. Defend our country are you serious?

      • We do NOT want degenerates like that in Australias’ defence forces !!!

      • No Mick that wouldn’t work mate solitary confinement then boot camp no results then back in solitary confinement you’ve got to break their spirit they will then have plenty of time to reflect

  3. Just shocking., I’m so sorry to read all this, absolutely heartbreaking. I hope they catch these criminals abd thrrow the book at them, not just a slap on the wrist.

  4. I will never go to Townsville again, back in the 80’s whilst I was serving there, for a short while, their was virtually no trouble about, but could not risk, travelling there today. The crime rate is atrocious. I think a major warning on travelling forums should be put out to stop people going there and being harmed. Once the tourists stop coming, maybe the government will act, but I doubt it, it is far away from Brisbane.

  5. So So Sad.

  6. Disgusting
    So sad for van owners
    This is the result of too many years of bad labour government
    Need a government tough on crime. Qld desperately needs to give labour the sack for good

    • What a cheap way to express your political affiliations.

      • I agree

      • However ANT is correct.

        • Yes. Poor government + weak on crims = higher crime rates

      • Not cheap, just fairdinkum. Used to be a labour supporter, but gave them up for good years ago.

    • What a load of rubbish. There are many towns spread through Australia that are also seeing a huge amount of juvenile crime. These criminals wouldnt know labor from liberal.

      • Open your eyes Ian. The labor govt in QLD is doing nothing about juvenile crime. They get a slap on the wrist. A police officer told my wife and I he doesn’t know why he even arrests them any more. The magistrate gives the crims a pat on the back and the give the cops the bird and laugh as the walk out of the court room.
        I agree with you Kevin.

  7. Despicable thieving scum has ruined dreams of the Bent’s and their prospective buyers – More gaol time not wrist slapping and mandated repayment of value of stolen/damaged goods is long overdue.

  8. Yes I’m from T’ville and thats the sort of thing that has been happening for YEARS. Everyone is afraid to do anything, so they get away with it, time and time ahain. And yes it is a very sad turn of events, glad owner was not hurt.

  9. Yes have family in Townsville and crime is out of control, not just to the stage of no control but like the Bronx.Police do there best but the courts just let them go, there is no punishment and consquences. I think Ric Moffat is right bypass the place until they start to take it seriously.My sister and niece told me not to pull up with caravan and leave it un attended if I wanted it to be there when I came back, cause it wont. They are living in fear along with most of townsville.Lets get some judges with Balls.Townsville is not the only place. Stevo.

  10. Somebody is going to take the law into their own hands soon and show the Aholes a very nasty lesson that will take them off the street for more than a night.

    • It happened in Kalgoorlie WA several years ago, the offender was run over and the person whose transport was stolen faced court and the relatives of the indigenous person involved appeared to want to lynch that person who lost his wheels

      • I remember that. That is why crime is so high.

  11. These crims live somewhere it will get to the stage where somebody will do eye for an eye

  12. I bet the crim will not be ordered to pay for the loss. Same all over Australia. That needs to change.

  13. Sad to read this

  14. Very sad that this happened, but a reminder to take the keys out of the ignition when hooking up .

  15. Townsville, Tenant Creek, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Alice Springs – just some of the places now with a reputation for youth crime so bad we won’t stay there unless something is done. So sad!

  16. Won’t be stopping in Townsville again. Hearing so many bad stories of crime there.

  17. I live in Port Douglas, extremely safe place, until last Tuesday morning 1.30am, I woke to a noise inside the house yelled out switched the bedroom light on and went into the hall to find the fron door wide open. After having a good look around, I though only a few little things missing, so lucky, next day Police in street and returned a spare set of my car key taken from my table, the cop said their were 6 young crims broke into 5 houses stloe a jeep and several things from other homes, they were caught and wer put in the Cairns lockup, but because of their status, they will be back on the strreets again by now. ‍♂️‍♂️

  18. It’s happening everywhere – not just Townsville.

  19. Cairns is just as bad 35 cars a day. I won’t leave my car on the street in Townsville or cairns. The parents and elders as well as the gangs of white youth in cairns are the problem. Police have their hands tied. They do a great job. Judiciary not so.

  20. it has got to the stage where a person doing wrong has more rights than the victim, no one can lay blame at any one particular political party they can only do as their advisors/activists tell them to.

  21. Got it. A penal colony far far away….the moon. For the real baddies off to the planet Mars with no return rocket fuel.

  22. We need a few magistrates/their families to be robbed fir them to understand how upsetting it is.

  23. I think everyone has missed one important point here. ICE and meths drugs. They’re a plague in Australia. That’s one big issue government should address

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