The missing jewels.
The missing jewels.

$40,000 in jewels stolen

By ZOE SATHERLEY

AN 81-year-old Goonellabah woman stepped out into her garden for just 10 minutes and later found she had been robbed of $40,000 worth of jewellery.

"It's terrible to think that you have to lock the doors when you step outside to hang out the washing or do a bit of gardening," she said.

The elderly woman does not want to be named for fear of coming under further attack.

But she does hope someone will recognise the items of jewellery stolen last month and get in touch with police.

"I have been robbed 11 times in 10 years. It makes me feel very unsafe here," she said. "But what can you do? Thieves seem to prey on older people living alone.

"I love my home and my independence and absolutely don't want to move out into a retirement village.

"I can't see how a unit would be any safer either.

"But it is a very stressful experience being under attack like this all of the time.

"The last time I was robbed I was coming back inside from the garage and ran into the young thief staggering down the hallway with my safe.

"He was shuffling because the safe was so heavy.

"I grabbed at him and he dropped it, cracking it.

"He ran off. Then I had to go to the expense of buying another safe.

"That's when I had security screens and locks installed ... but they must watch my movements quite closely.

"I don't live in a quiet cul-de-sac and the house is open and visible from the street, but these criminal are quite brazen."

The woman said she had spent many years working in a jewellery shop and had collected a number of special pieces over the years, as well as receiving gifts from her late husband and other family members.

Community liaison officer Snr Const Michael Hogan said the victim's jewellery was locked inside a heavy steel safe which unfortunately was not bolted to the floor.

He urged anyone with a safe to ensure it was properly secured and could not be lifted and carried away, as has happened in a number of recent thefts.

From Page One.

"I can't see how a unit would be any safer either.

"But it is a very stressful experience being under attack like this all of the time.

"The last time I was robbed I was coming back inside from the garage and ran into the young thief staggering down the hallway with my safe.

"He was shuffling because the safe was so heavy.

"I grabbed at him and he dropped it, cracking it.

"He ran off. Then I had to go to the expense of buying another safe.

"That's when I had security screens and locks installed ... but they must watch my movements quite closely.

"I don't live in a quiet cul-de-sac and the house is open and visible from the street, but these criminal are quite brazen."

The woman said she had spent many years working in a jewellery shop and had collected a number of special pieces over the years, as well as receiving gifts from her late husband and other family members.

Community liaison officer Snr Const Michael Hogan said the victim's jewellery was locked inside a heavy steel safe which unfortunately was not bolted to the floor.

He urged anyone with a safe to ensure it was properly secured and could not be lifted and carried away, as has happened in a number of recent thefts.



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