Burglaries drive woman from home

'I just don't feel safe here'

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 07:48 13/12/2013
Carol Child
WARWICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ
FED UP: Ongoing burglaries have pushed Palmerston North woman Carol Child to the limit, and she's planning to move.
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A Palmerston North woman who says her house has been burgled six times in the past 18 months says she's fed up and moving out.

Carol Child says she moved into the Housing New Zealand house on Botanical Rd 18 months ago because it had more room for her and her six children.

But she says the house, which is flanked by an open park and the riverside, has been targeted by thieves six times since she moved in, the last burglary occurring on Monday evening.

Police records, however, show just four burglaries reported.

Each time the television and her children's gaming consoles, including X-boxes or handheld gaming systems, have been taken.

Ms Child had new locks installed on the windows and safety catches, but thieves still managed to get in through the window.

Acting Inspector Brett Calkin said the burglary was under investigation.

As Christmas approached, burglaries became more common, and people needed to ensure their homes were secure when they went out, he said.

People needed to be aware of the increased temptation at this time of the year, when people were buying presents and going away on holiday, and report suspicious behaviour.

A burglar alarm was a great Christmas gift, and reduced the chances of a burglary significantly, he said.

People going out, even for a short time, should close windows and doors, even though it might be hot, because it was easy for thieves to take advantage of an insecure house.

Sheds and garages should also be secured.

While Christmas might be a key time for burglars, it also made a good excuse to get to know neighbours, who were more likely to look out for each other and report suspicious behaviour if they'd had a chance to meet.

Ms Child said she had been trying to ensure there was always one person in the house at all times, but on Monday night the house was left empty when she went shopping and thieves stole their television.

On an invalid's benefit, she couldn't afford to replace the televisions any more, but yesterday, a retailer donated her a new one that she was "thrilled" with.

But enough was enough and she had applied to move. "I just don't feel safe here, and you should feel safe and secure in your own home."

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- Manawatu Standard

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