Petty crime incidents plunge Stawell residents into fear

DISAPPOINTED: Judy Belot was not happy when she discovered her valuable outdoor setting had been stolen from her front veranda. Picture: Anthony Piovesan

DISAPPOINTED: Judy Belot was not happy when she discovered her valuable outdoor setting had been stolen from her front veranda. Picture: Anthony Piovesan

A string of petty crime incidents have marred festivities over the Easter long weekend at Stawell. 

First Constable Carl Burmester said police received two reports of trees being uprooted and snapped.

He said the trees were snapped at the base in three locations on Seaby Street and four other locations on Shirreff Street.  

Trees in a garden bed behind the Amcal pharmacy had also been removed.

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“The Shirreff and Seaby Street trees were seen in good condition on Thursday and found damaged on Sunday,” First Constable Burmester said. 

“The trees behind the chemist were found removed on Tuesday.”

He said it was a blatant case of vandalism, with the damages costing about $1200. 

“It is a disappointing end to the Easter festivities,” he said. 

“Perpetrators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and once caught, those guilty will face criminal damage charges.” 

He asked for anyone with information or CCTV in the area to contact him at the Stawell Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. 

Stawell resident Judy Belot was also a victim of the long weekend’s petty crime activity.

An outdoor setting she had owned for almost 30 years was stolen from her front veranda on Church Street.

“Last Thursday I found my two chairs were missing,” Ms Belot said.

“Then on Saturday I looked out my front window to watch the fireworks and I remember the table there, but then on Sunday morning it was gone.”

Brand new, the outdoor setting was valued at $500.  

“I am nervous about it now,” she said.

“They have been here twice and I don’t have a clue who it could be.

“It isn’t very nice, it was a good outdoor setting and now I have nowhere to sit on my front veranda.”

The 82-year-old had been living in Stawell since she was 11.

Ms Belot said she had never seen or heard of such criminal behaviour as frequently as she did today. 

“There used to be no issues in this town,” she said.

“Everyone would trust each other, you used to know your neighbours and trust them, but now that’s not the case.

“There is crime happening everywhere at the moment, not just small country towns, it is very sad to see.” 

It is a disappointing end to the Easter festivities. - First Constable Carl Burmester

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