Community hunts toothless thief
THE toothless, multi-lingual, middle-aged man who is allegedly stealing from homes across the Byron Bay hinterland be warned – the community and the police are after you.
One proactive local even took the step of erecting a caution sign at the Federal general store, warning residents to be on the look out for the man alleged to be responsible for a string of break and enter offences in the area.
Store owner Richard Carr said about four or five people recently came into the store with a story to tell about having their house robbed.
“My sister had her house broken into about five weeks ago,” he said.
“She had her house ransacked and jewellery, laptop, iPod and a phone stolen.
“Another local watched a guy go down his neighbour's driveway and he didn't think much of it but then he approached him and the man said ‘I thought this was my friend's house'.
“Everyone seems to be locking up their house now.
“I lock up my car now and put my bikes in the shed.”
Some people who confronted the man said he had an accent - possibly French or German - and he was wearing a backpack.
Offences also have recently occurred in the Coorabell, Goonengerry and Bangalow area, police said.
Police described the thief as a Caucasian male, thin build, 160cm tall with short hair, aged between 40 and 50-years-old.
He was also spotted wearing a fluoro vest, similar to those worn by council workers, Tweed/Byron Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Shane Diehm said.
“What is conspicuous about this is he is missing his front teeth,” he said.
“It's believed he is a local or has a good knowledge of the area.”
The man was seen driving a white 4WD with blue stripes with an aluminium tray and a metal tool box.
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
HOW TO PREVENT BULGLARIES
Install sensor lights around the perimeter of your home
Record serial numbers, models and descriptions of valuables
Secure garden sheds to the ground to prevent lifting
Ensure perimeter offences are in good order
Windows should be secured with key operated locks to restrict unauthorised access
Source: NSW Police