Three weeks ago a unit complex in Central Geraldton was targeted with several units burgled and trashed, leaving residents not only living in fear, but having to put expensive strategies into place to prevent it happening again.
Pucca Morunga relived her terrifying story after she returned to her home in the quiet complex to find it had been ransacked.
“I live by myself and coming home to that I was very shaken and not in a very good state at all,” she said.
“I was absolutely terrified.”
The perpetrators had smashed a window and got into the house to trash the unit and taken various items.
After entering her home, Ms Morunga found the mess left by the criminals as well as found a knife outside her home.
“It really does make me scared living here and I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said.
“I’ve had to take precautions such as heavy security but I think I am going to get a dog and look into an alarm system.”
Another resident in the same complex was furious about the burglary on his home, and is adamant that there should be harsher penalties for the offenders.
Dave Ashwell said it was mostly kids and teenagers who had burgled his home and said he can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“What is wrong with this community?” he said.
“We’ve got to wake up and find a solution!”
David and his wife Mary have had two attacks on their home and the most recent one saw their home trashed before an alarm system in the bedroom scared the offenders off.
David runs a small business from his home and has spent thousands of dollars already on alarm systems but had to upgrade after the most recent incident.
Now he is looking into getting security cameras installed which will be an added hefty cost onto his already high security bill.
“These criminals aren’t stupid, they’ve stolen house keys and car keys, they know what they are looking for and know what they are doing,” David said.
“We get hurt by these perpetrators but nothing is done about it. We aren’t without options.
“Something needs to be done before someone os seriously injured or worse - killed.”
Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney, said since 2008 there had been an increase in penalties across a wide range of areas including:
-Mandatory sentencing laws strengthened -Tougher home invasion laws -New party laws -Alcohol interlocks -A crack down on hoon drivers
“We are about to bring into the house a mandatory sentence for people who commit assault crimes during a home break-in,” he said.
Mr Blayney said he was well aware of the issue of the amount of youths committing crimes.
“There is a problem, and there are stories around about youth crime getting worse, but there isn't a lot we can do with kids under a certain age,” he said.
“If youths have a completely dysfunctional family and they can’t find another family member to look after them, in really extreme cases I think they do have to go to jail.
“But it’s a terrible thing to have to put a young person inside because what tends to happen is that once they are in there, they are in there off and on for the rest of their lives.”
More recently, an Everything Geraldton user told of a terrifying incident in her Karloo home.
“Just had lady knock on my front door I looked out my window and didn't recognise her and my dog was going off at the back door,” Keyanu said.
“The more my dog barked the more the lady knocked. I opened the back door and I had 3 men in my back yard and a car (white old trashed commodore) with a driver blocking my car in luckily all my doors and fly screens were locked.
“Never been so terrified in my life.”
My Blayney said local police have implemented a curfew system for youth offenders which he says has been very successful.
“For younger kids, if they aren’t going to school and their parents don’t know what they are doing, well the obvious thing you can do is the parents no longer get any financial assistance to bring that child up,” he said.
“I think financial penalties for those situations these need to be brought in.”
Mr Blayney urged people no matter what the crime, they should always report it to police.
“The police really do the right thing by us and they genuinely care,” he said.
“A lot of crime comes down to opportunity and people need to make sure it isn’t easy for them to be targeted.
“You’d like to say crime rates will lessen but there will always be some sort of level of it.”