Police warn tourists after spate of thefts from caravan parks

Published: October 3, 2023

The problem of theft from caravan parks is once again in the spotlight following a spate of incidents in WA’s Kimberley.

Police in Derby have warned van park guests keep their accommodation locked and belongings nearby amid a surge in theft and burglary.

The Broome Advertiser reports that incidents in recent weeks have included stolen cars, cash and other personal belongings. It says caravan park staff have been stressing the importance of keeping items and accommodation — including tents — locked up.

Dumbara Burru Caravan Park manager Gail Harvey told the newspaper there had been about three thefts in the last five weeks, with thieves targeting the accommodation between 2am and 4am when people are in their deepest sleep.

“They go along checking what caravans are unlocked, then go inside because people leave their stuff on the table or bench,” she said. “Out of the two cars stolen, the people never locked their caravan door — the third person was in a tent and did not hear the zip on the tent, so (the thieves) got everything they wanted.

Ms Harvey said the problem was not just that the thieve take the items and the cars, they destroy them.

“They wreck the cars, drive around town at high speeds doing burnouts on grassed areas,” she told the Broome Advertiser. “They don’t care.”

WA Police data shows there have been 514 reported theft and burglary offences this year in Derby.

“It’s very upsetting when a person or persons staying at the park has this happen, we stay up all night with them consoling them, making sure they are OK,” Ms Harvey said. “I know it is not just here in Derby, it is Australia-wide as customers tell me when I am telling them what they must do to prevent this from happening to them.”

  • Have you ever been the victim of theft while at a caravan park? How do you try to minimise your chances of having things stolen? Comment below.

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Ti Tree caravan park. NT. They tried to break into our motorhome twice on the 9th of August this year. Campers next to us chased them off both times between 2am and then an hour later, very braisen. The park is fenced however they jumped the fence both times. We keep our keys and valuables very secure. It was a very traumatic experience

Whilst in Windora I had a bag of uncooked chickens feet stolen from my outside fridge – I wasn’t happy !

Having a dog in the caravan is a winner. A Blue Heeler preferably.

We did a trip around the block with our 2 year old Red Heeler we didn’t have one problem

I had a Red Heeler before my current Bluey One night we took him with us when we went out in Kununurra. Bad decision, when we got home our van had been broken into and $700 had been stolen. They had used the entrance step to check inside to see if anybody, or a dog was there.
The problem is, there are not many caravan parks or camping areas where you can take a dog.
National Parks of course won’t allow dogs. I’ve seen scruffier humans than most dogs in National Parks and they probably do more damage!

how true a statement

recon you are dead right.
I only have soft floor campertrailer just zips on doors.
Have heard from lot of people have decide not to go up there ,crime through the roof

A solar powered motion controlled security light and camera is something to use and LOCK your doors

Last edited 2 months ago by Ron Spencer

Nothing a good flogging wouldn’t fix

Agree 100%

The night before we got to Derby, a caravan park guest tried that, he ended up in hospital
You are warned to NOT go outside your caravan

Nah, nah the “do gooders” wouldn’t allow that!! I’m with you though, make it memorable rather than a short holiday at HM pleasure where they no doubt pick up a few more tricks.

I agree. But, human rights will step in.

Good thrashing and photograph on public display will help solve the problem. Public register of thieves would also help.

Amen to that.
We have had 6 Caravans + 4 Cars + 2 Fishing Boats, with motor & trailers + 2 Box Trailers + 1 Duel axle Car Trailer STOLEN from our Palm Lake Resorts at Bethania & Waterford in less than 4 years. Total value of OVER $500,000.
Because our EXIT Auto Security Gates open automatically. We have tried to have the owners of PLR (they just don’t care) swipe card pedestals inside our exit gates for a ‘measly $3,700 each Gate. These Pedestals can be timely set that as from 8pm to 6am the gates will ONLY open by our residents by entering a code or with a swipe card.
Thieves tried to steal our Swift 524 and a Jayco Poptop – so now I have REMOVED ONE WHEEL, even though I have a SOLID GPS filled.
Take care everyone. Colin

Keep the van door locked even while you are in inside they grabbed the ladies bag while she was in the van, they were quick and quiet

Keep keys well away from caravan door. Be aware of distance between car and keys allowing keyless entry. We had our car stolen at Broken Hill caravan park. Still had the keys in the van, but car and keys in close proximity to each other! We all slept through, including the dog!!

We had an e-bike stolen off front of van in Adelaide. It had multiple locks on it and kept high under a fitted cover. Battery kept separate in van and handle bars turned parallel to bike. They used a small angle grinder under heavy bag to muffle noise to cut thru cables. I woke when then lifted it off the rack but they still got away with it. Recently had a call from police saying it has now been recovered.

For the first time ever we were robbed at Jarvis Bay NSW.,earlier this year. We had left our Engel outside and they cleaned out the alcohol. Apparently it’s very common in that area.

Welcome to Cairns those numbers are not high compared to our once beautiful city with sincere thanks to Palachook who keeps telling us the statistics indicate a decrease in Queensland. But we all know that stats can be manipulated to tell us whatever story is required by the pollies.

I’ve fitted the WiTi Alarm System. Not only does it protect against theft of the van by locking the brakes and immobiliser it but it also has sensors to trigger if intruders gain entry. Plus the GPS alerts you on your phone if the alarm is triggered. I think it’s the best solution available.

Police will not do anything if the offenders are juveniles & if you try to stop or detain them somehow the juveniles become the victims as there is more of them to counter your version of events. You cannot win against juveniles. Bring back good behaviour bonds for juveniles.

This is not new, been happening for a number of years. The culprits are well know to the authorities and there is an unofficial competition between the group in Derby and the group in Broome. We were in the Kimberely Entrance Caravan Park last year and the crime was terrible. Stayed away from Derby this year, but did spend 3 weeks in Broome RAC with no problems whatsoever. Last year while in Broome Caravan park a Landcruiser was stolen and cars broken into in the car park.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bomurra

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