Vandals again plunder Ballina

By MARY MANN

FRUSTRATED police are again calling for people to be more vigilant about security after thieves and vandals struck in the Ballina area 11 times in the past four days.

Since Monday six parked cars have had valuables stolen from them, another had its windows smashed, two motels were broken into, a boat moored in the Richmond River had 12 lifejackets, marine batteries, fuel lines and first aid supplies stolen and a business premises had a first aid kit stolen from it.

The owner of the Ballina Motel, one of the businesses targeted, said the town was 'out of control'.

The man, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, said vandals had thrown a 'Give Way' sign through the front glass door of his River Street business about 1 o'clock Tuesday morning.

"It sounded like a bomb had gone off," the businessman said.

"After throwing it, they raced across the road yelling, 'yahoo, yeah!'

"I took off after them but they just melted into the shadows. It's the drama and hassle which follows things like this that's worst," he said.

Vandals and thieves have struck the same business several times in the past 10 months.

Richmond Local Area Command crime prevention offficer Senior Constable Michael Hogan said the other motel targeted had its swimming pool contaminated and pool furniture vandalised.

He said items such as mobile phones, wallets, a passport, loose change and a GPS had been stolen from vehicles in Ballina and Lennox Head.

A few of the cars were left unlocked, making it 'way to easy for the thieves'.

"Leaving items on the seat or dash is just too tempting for thieves. And it's very obvious the offenders are getting results," Sr Const Hogan said.

The NRMA has also warned boating enthusiasts to be extra vigilant, saying valuable items left onboard were becoming an increasing target for thieves.



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