Committing the crime, not doing the time

It’s been said time and time again over social media and in the streets of Cowra but I am truly sick and tired of hearing about another break and enter or theft occurring in our town. 

The latest one isn’t someone’s house, even though residential break-ins have been horrific enough, and it’s not a small, local business that has been targeted. No, this time it’s the Salvos. 

The amount of rummaging and stealing of donations left outside the store has gotten increasingly worse over the past few weeks. 

It takes a real low-life to steal donations that could potentially go to a needy family but am I shocked that people would do this? 

Of course not. 

It’s just another incident in a long line of break-ins that seems never ending. 

As one of the many people who have been victims of this crime over the past nine months, there’s one thing I’ve really taken away from the experience.

Possessions, whilst important, can be replaced – safety can’t.

After living under the same roof for more than twenty years, suddenly our home doesn’t feel as safe anymore and our personal space has been violated. There have since been plenty of restless nights listening and watching around the house. 

My family was one of the lucky ones. There have been plenty of locals who have been injured during these break-ins, including an elderly man and a number of women, trying to defend their homes. 

Thieves have not been slowed down or put off by police, the courts or media coverage – so how do we stop them? 

Plenty of people have suggested a 24-hour police station and every time I hear about another break in, the more I support the idea. 

The bigger issue is that those responsible (often repeat offenders) are given parole, which results in them committing more crime rather than being put behind bars. 

How many wrist slaps can be given out to one person before their repeat behavior is deemed bad enough to send them to jail?

I don’t have the answers to our constant problem but in terms of the Salvation Army, people are asked to only leave donations when the store is open to reduce the chance of things being nicked. 

One day we’ll publish a police report in an issue of the Cowra Guardian that doesn’t mention a break and enter or theft, but when?

By Kelsey Sutor