A RABY Bay couple are calling for harsher punishment for juvenile offenders after youths allegedly stole their four-day-old Mercedes Benz.
Linda Williams' car was stolen out of her driveway on November 24 about midnight. The following day the luxury car was recovered by police at a Logan shopping centre.
A 15-year-old boy has been charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle and will appear in the Children's Court this month.
Ms Williams' husband Paul said it was likely youths stole the car to take it for a joyride and show off to their friends on social media.
"We suspect ... nothing will happen to them as they are underage and will be released into their parents' custody," Mr Williams said.
Thieves gained access into the lounge, snatching Ms Williams' handbag, keys and Mr Williams' wallet which were on the kitchen bench.
"Our bedroom door was closed, the aircon was on and the dogs were asleep in the room... They barked but we just thought it was a possum," Mr Williams said.
When he got up to go to work about 4.30am, the car was gone.
"We downloaded the Mercedes app to track the car, and noticed the car moving from a Logan address. We called the cops and they dispatched the helicopter to follow the car," Mr Williams said.
The car was tracked as it drove along the motorway, eventually stopping at a Logan shopping centre.
Police stopped the vehicle and Ms Williams' handbag was in the car which had a small dent on the rear bumper.
The thieves used Mr Williams' bank card to buy $72 worth of McDonalds takeaway. They also refueled but did not pay for the petrol.
"There has to be repercussions...they need to be held accountable for their actions... the penalty must fit the crime," Mr Williams said. "I want justice even if I must open a civil case against the culprits."
He said a curfew for youth was draconian but feared youth crime was out of control as criminals targeted Redlands affluent areas.
Police statistics show there have been 21 unlawful use of a motor vehicle cases reported in Cleveland from August to October.
Cleveland MP Mark Robinson said there had long been a call to tighten the laws on youth crime but the government continued to take a soft approach.
"Our courts desperately need the power to deliver a strong message to offenders so they understand that if they do the wrong thing they will be punished accordingly," he said.
"... On too many occasions they are being let off with a slap over the wrist," he said.
"This is no deterrent to those who ruthlessly upset lives and destroy the property of others, and they callously go on reoffending.
"It is extremely disappointing to learn that areas of Redland city are being targeted by outside gangs and their unwelcome criminal activity."