‘Violated’: Woman reacts after thieves roam her house
HOME alone in her Blackwater bedroom, mine worker Kristy Campbell slept while a group of teenagers crept through her house robbing her.
She was oblivious to the uninvited visitors until police came "bashing on the door with a torch" to break the news she had been robbed.
"The back sliding door was wide open and the kids jumped over the back fence," Kristy said.
The house that Kristy and her partner share was one of 18 properties and vehicles targeted during a four-day crime spree at the start of the month.
"It's a creepy feeling and violated feeling that they were in there and I didn't even know," Kristy said.
At least two youths entered the house via a window they accessed after cutting the screens off three other windows.
"There is a lot of crime going on and the locals are getting really annoyed about it," Kristy said.
Kristy, who along with her partner works at the Bluff Mine, said crime has become part of normal life at Blackwater and is a talking point in everyday conversations.
"It sounds like people are going to take it into their own hands," she said.
Kristy said the property's proximity to the police station had previously discouraged criminals but on November 3, she was added to the list of crime victims "because police were out chasing them."
The thieves stole about $250 in cash and caused more than $100 of damage. Kristy also lost a full day of overtime work as she was unable to sleep through the night.
Four juveniles, aged 17, 15, 13 and 12, have since been charged with a range of offences in relation to the crime spree, including unlawful use of a motor vehicle, burglary, trespass and wilful damage.
Kristy said hearing police had identified the offenders was a positive but she had little confidence in the justice system.
"They're just going to get a slap on the wrist and free trip to Rockhampton go to court," she said.
"I feel sorry for the police because they can't do anything."
Another Blackwater resident, who didn't want to be named, echoed Kristy's comments.
"Why is it that people get taxed to high heaven and then it's okay for people to break into houses, joy ride in cars and take what people worked hard for," he said.
"Someone will get hurt soon whether it's kids crashing a car they stole or someone defending their property."
Blackwater Police Officer in Charge Sergeant Rob Smith said most of the crime in the town was opportunistic and targeted easily accessible property.
"No one has the right to enter property and people should report to police immediately if they think a crime is occurring," Sgt Smith said.
"We are really asking members of community to adopt crime preventive behaviour."
The individuals charged in relation to the break-in will be dealt with in accordance with the Youth Justice Act.