THAT EMPTY FEELING: Kevin and Bekki Hill share their disappointment with children Dylan (15), Kye (11) and Seth (6) at their property where building materials and tools were stolen.
THAT EMPTY FEELING: Kevin and Bekki Hill share their disappointment with children Dylan (15), Kye (11) and Seth (6) at their property where building materials and tools were stolen. Jay Cronan

Dream home turns into a nightmare

ON A hot dusty afternoon at Busbys Flat, Kevin and Bekki Hill stared with disbelief at the bare ground where the materials for their new house once sat.

The dream of building their own home near Casino was shattered by callous, organised thieves who took everything that wasn't nailed down.

Their children, Dylan, Kye, and Seth clung to their parents as they tried to come to terms with the loss of two large water tanks, flatpacks of steel framing, a generator, floodlights, power tools, outdoor chairs, two water pumps (still in the box) and even the knives and forks.

Mrs Hill, 33, cried as she hugged her son, Seth, and rubbed her hand over her belly. She is eight months pregnant.

“They're mongrels,” she said of the thieves who raided their property, some time between last Sunday and Tuesday night.

Mr Hill, 35, estimated the theft would cost him more than $20,000 and even though he has All Builders At Risk insurance, it was likely to only cover the flatpacks, Mr Hill said.

The family rent a house nine kilometres up the road from their property and the last time Mr Hill saw the flatpack of materials was last Sunday.

On Tuesday morning Mr Hill had a 'falling out' with his boss at the local sawmill and was sacked. He later, drove Mrs Hill to Lismore for a hospital visit.

Her pregnancy was proving difficult because her waters had broken early and there were concerns for the unborn baby. The Hills didn't get back to Busbys Flat until 9.30pm.

They knew as soon as they turned into the winding, dusty driveway something was wrong. There were unusual tyre marks and an old red truck that partly blocked the driveway had been moved. Mr Hill said he drove up the bumpy road as fast as he could.

The roller doors of the shed were open, the tanks were gone and all the thieves had left was one empty beer bottle.

“I felt sick,” Mrs Hill said.

“And Kev looked like someone had punched him.”

They called the police.

Mr Hill was reinstated in his job at the sawmill when his boss heard about the theft.

Police and forensics are investigating the crime and anyone with information should contact Casino Police Station on 6662 0099 or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 HOW DO YOU  SECURE YOUR  RURAL PROPERTY? Phone 6624 3266 or SMS 0428 264 948


Five trucks run hay to drought hit 'war zone' out west

premium_icon Five trucks run hay to drought hit 'war zone' out west

"You always help the Aussie battlers”

Art meets science at Lismore Quad

premium_icon Art meets science at Lismore Quad

Hundreds attend Lismore's annual Arts vs Science Festival

Which Northern Rivers councils are using glyphosate?

premium_icon Which Northern Rivers councils are using glyphosate?

The herbicide was at the centre of a landmark court case in the US

Local Partners