Latest break-in "the last straw"
Wednesday, 15th December, 2010
By Andrew Robertson
A Creedon Street resident whose home was broken into on the weekend while he and his wife were asleep has warned that "there's going to be violence".
The man, who did not want to be named, said his house had been targeted by thieves several times before, but always when he and his wife wereaway.
This time the elderly couple were in bed when someone broke into their home in the early hours of Saturday morning after jemmying open the backdoor.
They stole a mobile phone and $300 in cash that was in a handbag which was later found discarded in the yard.
The couple's two cars were also broken into and a GPS unit from one of them was stolen.
The owner, who is convinced it is the same people who had previously broken into his home, said the home invasion was worrying because it showed the lengths the criminals were prepared to go to get what they want.
He warned if they continued it was only a matter of time before someone got injured or worse. "I can see this going to violence," he said.
"If they had gone into the bedroom ... there's no guarantee as to what would happen." The man said police also knew who the culprits were but needed proof before they could charge them, and even then they would likely receive "sympathetic treatment" from the courts.
"Their hands are tied. It's what the courts do and what the law does and they seem to get very sympathetic treatment." But he said something more needed to be done to deal with the problem.
"It's the same people and they do a lot of damage. "The whole neighbourhood has been broken into."
The man said up until now he had not used the deadlocks on his doors because of the risk they posed in the event of a fire, but now he had no choice.
"We've got to barricade ourselves in now. "I'm issuing a warning: it's getting worse and the law has its hands tied." The Creedon Street area is well known to police who are called there regularly to deal with reports of fighting and drunkenness.
Two years ago some of the residents had enough and successfully campaigned for the neighborhood to become an alcohol-fee zone.
Crime Manager Inspector Mick Stoltenberg said yesterday the break-in was under investigation. "It's being treated with the utmost seriousness and it is a concern when a house is broken into and property stolen, but more so when people are at home."
Insp. Stoltenberg said police had not yet spoken to anyone in relation to the crime but were confident they knew who was behind it.
"We may know who these people are but we need more than a strong suspicion," he said. He added that while areas of the city occasionally experienced "spikes" in break-ins, including the Creedon Street area, that wasn't the case at the moment.
But he urged locals to "target-harden" their premises to protect their property and themselves. "Make sure things are locked and put away ... have a look at the level of security at home and you may want to consider improving that."
He said concerned residents might consider forming an unofficial neighborhood watch group and he urged people to contact police "regardless of how minor or major you think it is".