Smart tip that slowed sneaky burglars’ return visit
IT took Jess May two weeks before she started to feel comfortable in her own home, after she was burgled by young criminals.
The Mount Sheridan resident's house was one of six targeted by thieves within the same hour, during a spate of break-ins in the southern Cairns suburb about two weeks ago.
The offenders - suspected to be juveniles - gained entry to Mrs May's house via a laundry door, taking car keys and electronic devices, in a brazen daylight robbery.
Mrs May and her husband had been at a medical appointment at the time, and didn't realise they had been burgled, until they were later sitting down in their living room.
"I thought there were some items missing," she said.
"I said to my husband, 'where's your iPad?'.
"It had gone, and there were doors open. That's when we noticed we'd been burgled."
Police dusted the crime scene for prints, and gave the couple some advice to deter any further robberies.
Mrs May said they were lucky they listened.
"The thieves came back to try and steal the car the next morning, and that was the really invasive thing because we were home (sleeping)," she said.
"They let the dog out, and they attempted to steal the car.
"But the police who visited us gave us so much advice, including taking the battery out of the car, which we did.
"And that was the only reason it didn't get stolen."
After forking out thousands of dollars to repair damage to their home and doors, replace missing items, and upgrade their security, Mrs May said it still took her some time to get over the feeling of unease that criminals had been in her house.
"It took me a couple of weeks to have any sort of comfortableness in my home," she said. "I had to rearrange all the furniture to feel like I owned the space again."
The first serious crime to affect the couple in about 20 years of living in Mt Sheridan, she said it was clear there was a problem with youth crime in the city.
She has written to the Queensland Government imploring it to fix the situation.
"I think that the police are doing a fantastic job, but they're chasing their tails," she said. "What do you do, when you're chasing the same people again and again.
"And that was the information that came from the police, that it's a revolving door."
Mrs May recently received an invite to join the new vigilante-style "Cairns Regulators" group on social media.
She believed the group's existence proved locals have had enough of out-of-control kids terrorising the streets.
"Because people are not happy, they do things like get together and create groups on Facebook to take action into their own hands," she said.
"It's scary: someone's going to get hurt."
CRIME PREVENTION TIPS
■ Make it difficult for an offender to gain entry. For example, install and use key-operated locks on doors and windows, and don't put keys under doormats or in other obvious places.
■ Make it difficult for an offender to exit your home with your property. For example, use key-operated locks on all doors and windows and make sure alarms are working.
■ Make it unlikely that an offender will want to steal your property. For example, engrave or microdot all items of value, making them difficult to sell or otherwise pass on.