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SOUTH ON EDGE

Tuesday, 27th August, 2013

By Kurtis J Eichler

 wave of criminal activity is rattling the normally laid-back South, with residents questioning their safety in the wake of another brazen robbery.

Less than two weeks after an armed hold-up at the Southern Oasis bottle shop in Patton Street, three rifles were snatched from a Hebbard Street house on Friday night while the 70-year-old owner was out.

Police said the thieves jemmied open a gun safe inside the home before removing a .22 rifle, and Norico and Stirling brand rifles.

“Having firearms at risk in the community is very dangerous,” Barrier LAC crime manager Mick Stoltenberg said.

DI Stoltenberg said the theft could have been related to another break-in at a Cummins Street house on the same day.

The 77-year-old owner was out of town when thieves used bolt-cutters to crack open a safe and steal a rifle and ammunition in the shed.

The robbery over the Hill has shaken the South, which for the second time in a month has made headlines because of crime.

Hebbard Street residents especially are on edge, worried the guns will fall into the wrong hands.

Sabrina Cain has lived in Hebbard Street since 1993 and said she just kept to herself, but still felt unsafe.

“This is scary, really scary,” she said. “You never know what can happen.

“Sometimes it’s safe.

“You get a lot of violence out the South.”

Lorraine Appleby has burglar-proofed her home in a bid to feel safer. After this recent robbery, she’s been left a little unnerved.

“We had a hold up at the bottle shop only a couple of weeks ago now guns have been stolen in the South,” Mrs Appleby said.

“It’s a bit of a worry.”

Mary Jobson has lived in Hebbard Street for 49 years. Since her husband died, she’s alert to every bump in the night.

“I tell you what, it’s getting spooky,” Mrs Jobson said.

“I don’t know what you’re going to do about them.”

She has invested in a doorstopper that when moved lets off an ear-piercing racket, enough to deter a would-be robber and awake a sleeping home owner.

“When they say about break-ins, I do get a bit unnerved.”

Alma Hotel publican Bruce Wellburn said everyone was “a bit apprehensive”.

“Naturally, everyone steps up their security measures in lieu of this.”

Anyone with information about any of these crimes is urged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

 
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