A recent break-in has left a Wagga mother feeling vulnerable in her own home.
Between 11pm Thursday, September 10 and 7.30am the following day, Judi Carey’s Lake Albert family home was broken into while she and her two sons slept. The thief came into the house through the back sliding door before ransacking the kitchen.
Ms Carey’s handbag was taken along with her son's wallet, phones and two sets of car keys.
The thief went through the mini-van before unlocking the garage and stealing the Ford Focus, which was found torched in Hay on Sunday.
“I won’t drop my keys or handbag in obvious spots like the kitchen bench now,” Ms Carey said.
“I will be a lot more vigilant and diligent with locking all doors at night.”
After her experience, Ms Carey also wants to encourage neighbours around Wagga to look out for each other.
“Be more aware of what’s going on in the neighbourhood and look out for your neighbours,” Ms Carey said.
“Some people live in the same street and wave or nod to each other but they don't know each other's names. Introduce yourself and get to know them. Keep connected and look out for each other.”
Ms Carey has lived in a quiet cul-de-sac for the last four years without incident and was shocked by the break-in.
Wagga police said Lake Albert is not one of the suburbs they experience a high level of crime in.
Her views were echoed by police, who are encouraging people to remain vigilant.
“Thieves will target opportunity and if you’re not giving them that opportunity chances are they will pass,” Duty Officer Inspector Peter Robertson said.
He said there are a few easy steps people can take to make their houses more secure.
Installing sensor lights, keeping the mail box tidy, getting neighbours to look out for your property and putting keys and wallets in less obvious locations are all simple steps which can help protect from thieves.
With the weather warming up, Inspector Robertson is encouraging people to ensure they close their windows when leaving home.
Ms Carey was lucky enough to have her handbag, wallet and phone returned after her bag was found in a reserve by someone walking their dog. Ms Carey has commended the Wagga police for their work.
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