Thieves stole Jeep as cyclone threatened Family car torched
WHILE everyone else was battening down the hatches in anticipation for Cyclone Yasi last month, LaurieAnne O’Leary and her family were wondering how someone could break into their home and steal their car.
Ms O’ L e a r y t h i s wee k searched through the wreckage of her brand new Jeep Wrangler after it was torched by thieves who took it from her Kelso home the night before the cyclone struck, and then dumped it.
The frustrated victim said the thieves broke into the house, stole her wallet, her mum’s wallet and the keys to her car before taking off.
‘‘ Pretty much, we woke up in the morning and realised our car wasn’t there,’’ she said.
Ms O’Leary said she heard a car similar to hers was dumped in bushland in Kelso and when she investigated she found her number plates near the burnt-out mess.
‘‘ Police said it was the worst burn out of a car they’ve ever seen . . . there’s just absolutely nothing,’’ she said. ‘‘ It has been completely torched.’’
Ms O’Leary said the theft could not have come at a worse time, given she and husband Stafford had just started a family, bringing baby girl Malaika into the world 10 months ago.
‘‘ We bought the car because we had a new baby and
GUTTED: Stafford and Laurie-Anne O’Leary with baby Malaika with their car after it was torched wanted to be in a reliable, safe car that’s got a roll cage and everything like that,’’ she said. ‘‘ Now we’re driving around in my mum’s Camry. They’ve just got no respect for people, coming into their houses.’’
But as frustrated as she is – particularly given her insurance will now take longer to process since the car has b e e n d i s c o v e r e d – M s O’Leary said she tried to look at the positives.
‘‘ At least they didn’t kidnap our daughter when t hey were in our house. The car was black and it was too hot, so we told RACQ we wanted a silver one,’’ she joked
On a more serious note, Ms O’Leary said she even felt sorry for the thieves.
‘‘ To me, the key to living is having a sense of peace and I don’t know how you can have peace in your life when you do this to people,’’ she said. ‘‘ So my first initial feeling was that I felt quite sorry for them.’’
Ms O’Leary said while she was insured, she would be forced to pay any excess if those responsible were not brought to justice.
She said crime was common in the area and she hoped t hose r e s p o ns i b l e were caught so they could not do the same thing to other people.
Anyone with information about the theft should call Townsville police on 4759 9777 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
A PERSON was rushed to hospital last night after being stabbed in Kelso around 9.30pm.