A list of strange items – as well as plenty of the usual things favoured by thieves – has been released by Hervey Bay police.
A list of strange items – as well as plenty of the usual things favoured by thieves – has been released by Hervey Bay police.

'Cat burglar' takes on new meaning

TWENTY cows, 34 mobile phones, 10 plasma TVs, a karaoke machine and even a pet cat have been stolen in Hervey Bay since October.

But the list of property pilfered from local homes, cars and businesses doesn’t stop there.

It also includes cash and alcohol, 15 cameras, nine laptops, five bikes, three refrigerators and a lawn mower.

Proving why Hervey Bay police have had to assemble a special taskforce to address local break-ins, the property list, provided exclusively to the Chronicle, shows that nothing is sacred in the eyes of a crook.

Detective Senior Constable Glen Dehnert of Hervey Bay CIB says in one instance, a thief was robbing a home and even grabbed the family cat on his or her way out.

Det. Snr Const. Dehnert said the property list did not detail every item stolen but some of the more unusual ones and those that could be identified through serial numbers.

Police are now urging people to note down the serial numbers of any electronic goods they buy, such as phones, MP3 players, laptops and cameras, which are among the items most coveted by criminals.

“Property offenders generally target cash and then any or all of these particular electrical items – mobile phones, cameras, laptop computers, iPods and MP3s,” Det. Snr Const. Dehnert said.

“The amount of electrical items going missing varies.

“Records show we can have as many as 10 of each of these mobile phones, cameras, laptop computers and iPods stolen over the course of a month and other times only one or two.

“The best chance members of the public have in getting stolen property returned to them or in having offenders identified is to record serial numbers at the time of purchase.

“Police are forever locating suspect persons in possession of property the officers believe is stolen but are unable to find the true owner because the owner never made a complaint or a serial number was not provided when reported.”

He said sometimes these items could still be identified by the information, phone numbers or images stored on them but that would take time, whereas a serial number was quick and conclusive.

“If people have bought property items other than brand new from a store and have any concerns about it, they can contact police.”

He also said parents should be vigilant and take note of any electronic or other goods their children come home with.

“If members of the general public find themselves in possession of any property item described on this list, please contact local police so that the item can be returned to the true owner and the person that unlawfully supplied the property can be investigated.

“It is an offence to possess property you know or even suspect to be stolen or unlawfully obtained.”

Hervey Bay police set up the taskforce, led by the CIB and supported by uniformed police, the Tactical Crime Squad and the dog squad, earlier this month.

The officers involved are dedicated to driving down break-ins and burglaries in the Bay area.

To reports suspicious activity or stolen goods, call police on 4123 8111 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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