G?Bah street ransackedin thieving rampage
By ADAM HICKS
THIEVES have ransacked six neighbouring Goonellabah homes in a one day spree.
In broad daylight on Thursday, the robbers smashed windows, ransacked rooms and reportedly fled the scene in a taxi.
The value of their booty was less than $1400, but it was not the money that mattered to two of the victims, Marie Gollan and Geoffrey Mapstone.
The Oliver Avenue neighbours occupy two units of a duplex targeted by the thieves.
It was the first time Ms Gollan had been robbed, after living in the area for most of her life.
"It makes you feel very sick in the stomach to think people have been in your bedroom and through your cupboards," she said.
"You don't know what they touched.
"They've had a field day up here.
"I'd gone out to visit a friend and a neighbour phoned me and told me I'd been robbed.
"I came straight up and the house was a mess. All the drawers had been pulled out and my stuff was dumped all over the floor.
"They even got into the fridge.
"They opened up a bottle of soft drink and emptied out a tray of ice cubes.
"They took a camera and a DVD I bought for my granddaughter, and a few other Christmas presents.
"I'm just thankful they didn't spray tomato sauce on the carpet or anything."
The retiree said she suspected that kids were responsible.
"Our neighbour saw four kids leave and they all had backpacks. They got into a taxi."
Ms Gollan said she had regularly heard of similar incidents in the area but never thought her house would be targeted.
"You hear about it every day...I've had enough. It's not a nice feeling not knowing when they might come back," she said.
"I'll wait and see what happens, but I think I'll sell up and move down south."
Mr Mapstone said the robbery had also made him think about moving.
"The behaviour of some kids in this area is getting out of hand," he said.
"My 15-year-old son is terrified, he doesn't want to live here anymore. He's terrified of the gangs in the area.
"He had to stay back at school yesterday (Thursday) for an hour because he was being terrorised by a kid making death threats against him.
"He had to get driven home and he came back to find the house had been broken into.
"He is totally freaked. At night he doesn't go out anymore.
"He used to go for a walk to the shops but not anymore."
A clerk at the Lismore Base Hospital, Mr Mapstone, said the thieves used socks from his clothes line to protect their hands as they smashed through his laundry window.
A mobile phone and a Sony Playstation 2 with games was stolen.
The socks were later found, splashed with blood in Ms Gollan's backyard, along with a used condom.
Police Inspector Tony Crandell said four other homes were hit in the surrounding area, on the same day, in a simi- lar way.
n What do you think?
Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624 3266 or email opinions@northern- star.com.au