Jul 23, 2021

Residents live in fear as thieves target retirement village

Thieves target retirement village

In one terrifying incident, an elderly woman was threatened in her bed, while another resident had her handbag stolen from beside her bed.

“She was just absolutely devastated to think she’d been asleep and someone had been there and taken her handbag,” her neighbour told the ABC.

A 77-year-old resident woke one night to find men shining a torch into her eyes, demanding she give them the keys to her car.

Fortunately, the woman had an alarm beside her bed, which she activated while screaming for help.

Resident Barry Kanz told the ABC thieves attempted to break into his home in April by cutting through or burning screen doors.

“But they couldn’t get in as we had key locked the doors,” he said.

President of Willow Glen residents’ association, Pam Harrison, said thieves broke into people’s homes through garages and screen doors.

Residents moved to Willow Glen to be safe, she said. “None of us want to leave.”

Harrison said the operator of the home, TriCare, had installed security cameras and implemented dog patrols and Toowoomba Regional Council is considering a request to lock the gates to the home.

TriCare released a statement acknowledging the crime spree.

“Over the past few months, there have been public statements and articles regarding increased crime in the Toowoomba region. 

“TriCare recognises it’s a challenging situation, and we have been collaborating with Police and investigators to help solve some of those crimes.”

“We extend our gratitude to the local Police, and everyone determined to make Toowoomba a better and safer place for all.”

Local police say residents of retirement or gated communities could be living with a false sense of security, as they “believe there’s this extra layer of security” and “become a little complacent.”

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