Thieves swoop on front lawn items as home owner unpacked van

A new Stawell resident experienced a disturbing welcome to the town when opportunistic thieves stole his television and four crates of vinyl albums from the front lawn. 

Ben Northeast was unloading items into his new Walker Street home on Sunday morning about 10.30. 

He was inside for 15 minutes and when he returned outside his 75 inch colour television and his four crates of personally signed vinyl albums were gone.

One of the albums was signed by world renowned American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash.

“I am pretty gutted,” he said. 

“Especially since I was just moving into my new house that day and it was my first day in Stawell.”

Mr Northeast said the value of the stolen items was $19,000.  

“The television you can replace, but those albums were personally signed by so many artists,” he said.

“It would have definitely taken two people or more to move the items, into a ute, trailer or something. 

“I like to think someone came past and thought it was hard rubbish, but I don’t think that was the case here.” 

Mr Northeast later went in to Bi-Rite to browse for another television and said the generosity he experienced at the store helped to redeem the situation.

“I was just telling them what had happened and Brett Crouch went to the back and came out with a brand new 32 inch television,” he said. 

“He told me I could use the television until I could replace the one that was stolen. 

“This was above and beyond the call of duty, I thank Brett Crouch and the team at Bi-Rite Electrical Stawell very much.”

Stawell Sergeant Pete Young said police were investigating the incident. 

“We believe this was opportunistic and it is sad to see it happen here in Stawell,” he said. 

“If anyone has any information or may have witnessed the crime on Sunday, September 3 we encourage you to call the Stawell Police Station on 5358 8222 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”