Break-ins anger Wit­tenoom land­hold­ers

Pilbara News - - News - ■ Tom Zaun­mayr

The last re­main­ing hold­ers of Wit­tenoom prop­erty say they are fed up with op­por­tunis­tic thieves break­ing into un­oc­cu­pied homes in the near ghost town.

The lat­est Wit­tenoom break-in hap­pened just a few weeks ago, on Jan­uary 2.

Tom Price po­lice act­ing Sergeant Re­nee Sheri­dan said po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

Wit­tenoom res­i­dent Mario Hartman said break-ins were so fre­quent there was no point lock­ing doors be­cause it would just lead to more dam­age.

“Peo­ple just come here and think they can do what they want,” he said.

“At this time in the year, it’s usu­ally peo­ple from the Pil­bara, and then in win­ter there are the tourists as well.

“We’re still here, so have a bit of re­spect.”

Mr Hartman said va­grants caused a lot of dam­age and stole a va­ri­ety of items, in­clud­ing mo­tor­bikes and gen­er­a­tors.

Keep­sakes to re­mem­ber vis­its to the in­fa­mous town are also high on the list, ac­cord­ing to Mr Hartman.

“They break into homes and sheds and smash up things,” he said.

“Me­men­toes from Wit­tenoom, like street signs and flood signs, dis­ap­pear all the time. Even the ceme­tery sign and plaques off graves have been stolen. That’s pretty dis­gust­ing stuff.”

Mr Hartman said with in­sur­ance un­avail­able in Wit­tenoom, the fi­nan­cial bur­den for th­ese crimes on lo­cals was heavy.

“If peo­ple want to have a look around they should just ask, you can see peo­ple live here,” he said.

Sgt Sheri­dan said any­one with in­for­ma­tion should con­tact the Tom Price po­lice sta­tion.

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