Trapped by car theft
DORIS Brooks said that moving to Evans Head was the greatest thing she had done - until car thieves fixed things so she couldn't leave.
Ms Brooks, 76, left her old station wagon in the car park of her aged unit on Tuesday night, only to discover it missing when she woke up the next morning.
Ms Brooks was one of four victims of a string of car thefts across the region on Tuesday night.
“I moved here six months ago from Casino and fell in love with the place, but now I am a virtual prisoner,” Ms Brooks said.
It was not until after the car theft that Ms Brooks learned the cars of residents from surrounding units had been broken into.
“It seems this is a case of kids, during their school holidays, looking for a joy ride,” she said.
Ms Brooks, who lives by herself, immediately reported the theft to the police, but did not expect to see her car again.
“It really is disheartening for me, but the community support has restored my faith in people,” she said.
Ms Brooks said one of her neighbours heard noises outside on the night the car was stolen, but, being elderly, had not explored it further.
Senior Constable Michael Hogan said the theft or attempted theft of four cars had been reported to police within 24 hours during the week. “Four reported thefts in one day is a 400 per cent increase on our one-per-night average,” he said.
Snr Const Hogan said the series of thefts were unlikely to be related to school holidays, but people should be aware of both their car and home security.
“In the case of expensive car thefts, the home may be broken in to in order to access the keys,” he said. “Or a car may be stolen to commit another offence.”
Snr Const Hogan said most stolen cars were found. However, they were often damaged.
All that Ms Brooks can now do is hope her car is found.
“I can walk to the beach from here, but I need my car to visit family and do every day things,” she said.