Local Byron fruit and vegie provedore, Sam, cutting it up.
Local Byron fruit and vegie provedore, Sam, cutting it up. Inbyronbaytoday

Putting squeeze on brazen thieves

YOU know that sinking feeling when you get back to your car after a few waves and something just doesn't feel right.

You begin to quickly check your gear and soon your gut feeling is validated. You've been robbed.

Well if it's happened to you, it may help you feel a little better to know that finally one of these scumbags has been caught, and caught with flair, if you ask me.

It all started when the crew at Tallows spotted a thief working the car park this week. Rather than turn a blind eye or being scared to speak out as so often happens these days, they marched in and apprehended the dodgy character keeping him held until the police arrived.

Apparently it all started when the thief was observed rummaging around in the back of a ute known to belong to somebody else. A quick-thinking local had a light bulb moment and asked the thief a question that only the owner of the car would know. Unable to answer they knew they had him, his escape route was blocked and the police were called and an arrest was made. Great work guys. Clock up a win up for the locals in Byron Bay.

I know from bitter personal experience how bad it feels to be robbed. Fact is that hiding your keys is simply not enough. These ratbags hide in the bushes and watch where you put your keys. Then in broad daylight they brazenly stroll over, open your car and help themselves.

They bank on people not caring or paying attention. This issue is going on in all beach car parks in our region every day. But there are things we can do about it.

Get a blank non-electric key cut that will unlock your car door and secure it onto something you take in the water with you. Or invest in a key-lock system that can keep your electronic key safe.

But the most powerful thing we can all do is to be aware of our surroundings. You just can't beat the effectiveness of keeping an eye on your fellow surfers' gear. Be willing to speak up when something looks wrong. Often a few words are enough to foil a robbery. If we all keep an eye out for each other, then the thieves really don't stand a chance.

Okay, onto the surf. The bureau says we can expect to see some more swell this weekend. A generous-looking low will squeeze through Bass Strait some time today, generating a long southerly fetch. There are calls going out that we could see 3-4m swells from this. Well maybe out to sea on the horizon, but I doubt we'll see much more than 1-2m of south swell in our neck of the woods.

Yet a 1-2m south swell would be most welcome, and if it does get bigger Sunday or Monday would be the pick.

The winds should swing to the south on Saturday and stay there for a few days.

Being spring, the season of afternoon onshore blows, the mornings are most likely to be the best bet.

Ben 'Bear' Bennink is a former professional longboarder and retired NSSIA master coach. He writes for Pacific Longboarder Magazine and is semi-retired in Byron Bay where he is editor of inbyronbaytoday.com.

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