Police urge vigilance after spate of campsite thefts

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Caravan park security ... what more can be done?

Police are warning grey nomads and other travellers to keep a closer eye on their campsite possessions following a spate of holiday time thefts.

Everything from fridges and solar panels to campchairs and fishing rods are at risk as opportunists seek to exploit the trusting nature of overly casual campers.

At the Rainbow Beach camping area on Queensland’s Inskip Peninsula, thieves have made off with two large green and black coloured solar panel batteries which were left behind a tent. Police say the offenders swooped in while the victims were away from their campsite, and it is believed they then approached other nearby campsites in search of other property to steal.

“Police are reminding the community and holiday makers to please secure any valuable items, whether it be chaining or bolting to a secure fixture or placing the items in your car or campervan out of sight,” said Senior Constable Deb Wruck from Gympie Police. “Don’t become the next victim.”

Many thefts from caravan parks or camping areas are quite possibly the work of opportunists who may grab anything of value which is left laying around or unguarded. For example, police are investigating the theft of a Giant Mountain Bike valued at $750 from the Ball Park Caravan Park in Corowa, New South Wales just after Christmas. Apparently, a man in his 40s with a mowhawk haircut was seen leaving the park on the alleged stolen bike in the small hours of the morning.

Other thefts presumably need somewhat more planning and organisation. At another caravan park in Corowa – the Bindaree Caravan Park – a five-burner barbecue and a caravan annex were reportedly stolen by extremely brazen thieves. The crime was reported to Corowa police on December 29 and is being investigated.

It seems that boom gates, security patrols and barbed wire fences are all well and good … but there is only so much that can be done to protect possessions from a determined – or an opportunistic – thief.

• Have you had anything stolen from your campsite? Are you more careful than you used to be? Are some travellers ridiculously trusting? Comment below.

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8 Responses to Police urge vigilance after spate of campsite thefts

  1. For determined thieves there is no protection form them what with battery operated tools etc.
    However a simple strong wire rope and lock will stop opportunistic thieves and these are readily available from most hardware and camping stores.
    Rarely do we see these perps get the full force of the law when attending court. I think that a stronger and publicised court outcome should happen.

  2. Corowa must be a hot spot, we were there early 2016 and had a bike stolen. It was chained up using a bike chain brought from a popular hardware store, they either had a key or picked the lock.

  3. We stayed at Cairns Holiday Park in 2015 and the stealing was ridiculous. We busted 2 fellas tring to break into vans 1 night. The youngest fella said “I live here you Se don’t. Youse are in my town now” like he hadd the right to steal. This happened every day and night. A young French girl had her bags and phone stolen from her tent while she slept. The police came and they knew these fellas but couldn’t catch them. Staff said to keep everything locked in your car.

  4. We have begun locking our door at night after friends had the following incident at Crescent Head last year. Husband went off to have a shower, wife in bed reading, heard the door and called out “what did you forget?” No answer, continued to read, heard a noise again and this time lent forward to see a person in black crawling on the floor”. She called out and he stood and ran out. Later they discovered that their phones, wallet and handbag which had been on the seat of the table were gone. So lesson learnt, door locked and wallets, keys and phones in drawer beside bed or somewhere that is not on show. Sad that we have to take their precautions.

  5. I made my own stainless steel ropes and used combination locks. Stops the opportunist.

  6. The thieves know that their chances of getting caught is low.
    If they do get caught, the penalty will be low and SPER will cover any monetary cost that is handed out to them.
    So these scum suffer no consequences for their actions.
    We older generation need to become more vocal about what the weak outcome is for people who deliberately break the law and start supporting political canditates who will hear our call.,
    We are getting mad as hell and we aren’t gunna take it anymore!!’!!!!!!!!!!

  7. We got up one morning in a Southern Fleiuru caravan park to find that we could not tow our van. Some rotter had stolen the Hayman Reece hitch overnight from our Jeep without setting off the alarm. The hitch was so heavy the wife couldn’t lift it and was jammed in so tight it was almost impossible to remove quietly. $1600 later we were on the road again. Now the hitch is locked onto the car. We are all sitting ducks once the lights are out.

  8. I run a large length of chain through all the items left outside at night.
    Another trick is to tie a piece of fishing line onto half a dozen bottles under the van and tie that to the expensive thing. When you here the bottles you reach for the baseball bat………

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