(From left) Rhiannon Lawson, Kylie Taylor
(From left) Rhiannon Lawson, Kylie Taylor

New Roma business struck 3 times by crims, cost owners thousands

After Kylie Taylor packed up her life in the city to move back to the southwest to revive a business with her best friend Rhiannon Lawson from Mitchell, they were forced to cough up thousands of dollars after alleged youth criminals broke in on three separate occasions and trashed the premises.

The new King's Motel and Steakhouse owners took over the site, which had been unused for about two years, in February this year.

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But after a long and hard challenge of moving, finding insurance and a lender, their business was struck by criminals several times in the first month of operating.

"Every insurer was like it's too high a risk, it's unoccupied, it's so susceptible to break-ins and thefts and malicious damage," Miss Taylor said.

"And we argued with them and said it's been sitting here for two years and nothing has happened," Mrs Lawson said.

"No one so much has stolen a plastic chair from this place, or the wheelie bins, and it hasn't been trading for 18 months," Miss Taylor said.

According to Queensland Police, the Quintin St business was allegedly broken into on February 3 and the alleged offenders rummaged through the premises.

The motel was then broken into again twice over the coming days where two youths have been dealt with in relation to stealing and wilful damage.

The owners told The Western Star the offenders lit fires inside of buckets using toilet paper and dumped the contents in the swimming pool, as well as cracking the bottom of the pool with a slide.

A builder quoted $11,500 to fix the damage, and additionally, it will cost about $2000 to clean the property.

There's no information to suggest it was the same youth offenders each time.

"The damage could have actually been worse," Miss Taylor said.

"They could have set the building on fire.

"Similarly, they could have kicked in every door of every room."

When police came to deal with the matters, one officer told the owners it was unfortunate timing when it happened.

"He said, 'I really hope this doesn't deter you two girls from doing what you're doing'," Miss Taylor said.

Kylie Taylor (L) and Rhiannon Lawson (R) recently took up the Kings Motel in Roma, but have now had to fork out tens of thousands of dollars due to damage done from alleged criminals.
Kylie Taylor (L) and Rhiannon Lawson (R) recently took up the Kings Motel in Roma, but have now had to fork out tens of thousands of dollars due to damage done from alleged criminals.

 

Miss Taylor spent the first 26 years of her life in Roma and only lived in Brisbane for a few years before moving back, but she never thought the Roma she'd return to would be so riddled with crime.

"It wasn't very high on my radar because I don't remember it being that much of a problem

"I've spent most of my life in Roma, born and bred here," she said.

"It wasn't very high on my radar because I don't remember it being that much of a problem

"Even in the three years I have been gone, and come back, everyone locks their car [now] when they're down the street and there'd be no one who'd leave their doors open."

But they won't let a bunch of alleged youth criminals crush their dreams, after all their hard work to date.

"No way in the world, after the hurdles we've gone through to start a business together, are we going to let some kids have a pool party and ruin the lot," Mrs Lawson said.

Miss Taylor believes the incidents weren't pulled off to steal things, but rather for kids to have fun.

She is also very disappointed that there's no opportunity for restitution for the damage done.

"It is a bit of a shame that they are kids and there aren't any consequences," she said.

"How do you get them to understand that that seems like fun to you, to go and destroy other people's property, but in the real world... you can't just go around doing that.

"If you want to go around and light fires, light them in your own backyard."

The two owners have now had to spend thousands of dollars on a new alarm system due to the incidents. 

 

Anyone with information is urged to call Policelink on 131 444, or report anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

 

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