Caravan park visitors ‘up in arms’ as thefts continue

Published: April 23, 2021
Grey nomads and caravan park theft

Opportunistic thieves have been targeting visitors to a popular Queensland caravan park … and social media has ‘gone off’ about the problem.

A Facebook post warning that shoes, bikes and other items were being taken at night from visitors to the Fraser Coast’s Pialba Beachfront Caravan Park has sparked a huge online reaction.

And it seems something might now be being done about the problem.

Local councillor Jade Wellings told the Fraser Coast Chronicle that she had personal experience of the problems at the park. She said while staying there after a previous trip around Australia, her family had had their bikes and fishing gear stolen, and food had even been stolen from someone’s esky.

Ms Wellings said the council had a ‘good frank discussion’ about the issue earlier this week, and a decision had been made to put in some interim measures to improve security there, including some fencing and extra security patrols.

However, she acknowledged there were specific issues that needed looking at.

“This caravan park has design constraints which make it easier for thieves,” she told the Chronicle. “Council is upgrading all four of their caravan parks over the coming years, and the masterplanning for Pialba will start in the near future.”

She said that, as part of that masterplanning, the council would be considering security and how to reduce the risk of theft.

“When Pialba reopens following its renovation, it will also be dog-friendly, which I suspect will assist with security,” Cr Wellings told the Chronicle. “There is already currently some CCTV in place.”

And she had some good advice for all grey nomads.

“It’s important that people lock away their valuables, and keep their car and caravan locked – no matter where they are staying in Australia,” she said. “Opportunistic thieves are everywhere, it’s a sad reality, and it certainly does spike in peak periods.”

  • What more – if anything – can caravan parks do to deter thieves? Comment below.
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Helen parsons
8 months ago

Same everywhere these days. Had someone walking around at 3.15 this morning checking out our grey and blue water portable containers

W. Aarninkhof
8 months ago

The Council has been aware of this problem for years, don’t expect much to be done about , put up a fence on the road side and it looks like a detention camp, nothing will or can be done on the beach side apart from placing CCTV cameras along the beach side and I can’t see them them being manned 24/7. Dogs will be allowed, what a mess in the making.

Malcolm
8 months ago
Reply to  W. Aarninkhof

Great idea to let dogs in ,just about everyone we know travel with their dog and have not had anything go missing.

Ian Wheaton
8 months ago
Reply to  W. Aarninkhof

I’ve never been to a caravan park where people don’t pick up after the dog. You can be asked to leave if your dog is noisy for no reason. Barking at intruders is a good reason. People don’t travel with noisy dogs

Sue Dykstra
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian Wheaton

Sorry Ian, we have traveled extensively around Australia twice and are now on our third trip with no kids but a small dog. We see heaps of large dog owners not picking up after their dogs. Even people we know don’t do it either. You must have been very lucky wherever you have traveled not to have seen it.

Gary
8 months ago
Reply to  Sue Dykstra

I hope you have a go at them for not picking up. We do! We have 2 small dogs and always pick up after them. The few people who don’t do the right thing will make it harder for us in the long run.

Marj Davis
8 months ago

When a caravan park is open to the road with no fence between, the opportunity is there for the taking. So ridiculous.

L K Fleet
8 months ago

How about CCTV on 24 hour record. That way if something us do e, it can be backed up by this vision. No doubt the offenders will be known to authorities I’m sure.

Jade
8 months ago

It’s not just van parks around Hervey Bay. Ice crackheads will take anything that’s not nailed down.

Bron McLay
8 months ago

In this day and age, caravan parks should have cctv security cameras installed

Ian McQuarrie
8 months ago

Pialba caravan Park had a boom gate installed near 5yrs ago but has never been used just stays open all the time

Gary Morris
8 months ago

I have Swann Security Cameras hooked up on my van on continual recording. I have a 600×300 sign stating 24 hr Surveillance. Nothing stolen (yet)

Linda Archer
8 months ago
Reply to  Gary Morris

Hi Garry what model did you get for security camera setup for your caravan regards lynn

Linda Archer
8 months ago
Reply to  Gary Morris

Can I ask what system you installed

Maree
8 months ago

I have lived here forever and it’s been happening for years and years. For the price people pay it should be fenced with security cameras and also the parks should all be pet friendly. I thought they might have fenced it 30 years ago with all the stealing in that park. They need big changes and live now not down the track.

Raymond Williams
8 months ago
Reply to  Maree

why should they “all be pet friendly” as I am sick and tired of picking up dog poo on my shoes – it’s not the best experience and not the best way to remove dog poo!!!!!!

Johnno
8 months ago

I hear you! We don’t stay in dog friendly caravan parks. We don’t like stepping in or around dog poo, being licked or having our wheels peed on.

Mezo
8 months ago

Same here, iv`e watched so called “responsible owners” let their dogs shit anywhere, mainly at first light when they think nobody is watching.

Graham
8 months ago

Most people that travel with dogs are responsible and pick up and it seems that you just don’t like dogs

Tony Lee
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham

Not at all. Just detest irresponsible dog ownets who don’t do the right thing by other people

Neil Death
8 months ago

Agree, It’s no fun when ground fleas, flies and poo mess up your holiday. Not to mention how people put up with the smell of there animals in cars and vans. Recently spent time a Burrum Heads caravan park where the permanent’s walked there dogs where the travellers stayed. They cannot walk and mess in there own areas.

Robyn Springer
8 months ago

You shouldn’t blame all pet owners for the irresponsible ones I believe most people who travel with pets are very responsible with their pets

Ian s
8 months ago

Yes most dog owners are irresponsible although they think they are not

What sort of person gets an outdoor animal and restricts it to travel in a car or motorhome then sets up on a van site or free camp dog poops everywhere. Barks etc and then expect others to accept it. There is a place for animals and travelling is not one. If you use it as a method of thinking it’s a child or family member you are deranged.

Eva Keegan
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian s

Spot on Ian . As soon as we see a caravan park sign that says Pet Friendly we drive straight past to the next park. I dont understand why the parks think it attracts business. It does the exact opposite. Everyone i know and who have travelled with does the same. Yapping dogs and dog shit everywhere is not my idea of a relaxing holiday.

Otzi
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian s

Yes, as a retired country person having owned working dogs and now urbanised and travel in a van (dog free) I have to agree 100%

Jeannie Simpson
8 months ago

U must be the only sad person who collects shoe poo from dogs in C.Parks. Self have travelled 45 odd thousand ks off grid and C Parks and never trod in doggy poo. U are a very unlucky soul…

Gary
8 months ago

I’d rather have dogs than noisy messy kids running around all day and night and making a huge mess in the amenities.

Marney May
8 months ago
Reply to  Gary

I agree often the children wake early and because they are awake everyone in the park must be woken with their noise. Using the amenities is a nightmare. My children are adults I don’t want to be flushing toilets and dodging toilet paper all over the floor because unsupervised children have been ther.

Peter Young
8 months ago

We stayed at Pialba last Aug. An adjacent trio of vans which visit as a group each year told us to chain everything down as they’d had intruders inside their zipped annexe steal from their refrigerated esky. We had no probs other than a woman from a neighbouring van under our annexe – she couldn’t be bothered walking around our site to get to the amenities block!

Peter Bradley
8 months ago

.I travelled for 7 years in our bus. Best deterrent is to leave a bright light on outside your van or annexe. Leave nothing valuable outside.
In Grafton I had a side bin door lock cut and 2 lge shade cloths were taken and when i called Police, they werent really interested!!. I fitted a camera after that. They arent that expensive. Many ways you can deterr theives. Maybe leave the wife on a chair outside, with a rolling pin ??

Mary Rayner
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Bradley

Like you Peter we keep our outside light on all night, and so far we have had nothing stolen

Garry Lee
8 months ago

at the end of the day personal security and property security is not the operators responsibility. Seasoned Nomads are well aware that the motto is ” don’t leave anything outside and unsecured when saying in van parks” fenced or not. It is opportunistic thieves who wander through properties in the wee hours of the morning. We see then on our CCTV replay of a morning going through our recycle bins at 4 am and yes they do check out anything that is not secure.

Fly
8 months ago

You should witness the theft at Mulwala Ski club park. Brazen mongrels just go shopping for beer eskies, chairs anything thats not nailed down even when people ate sitting around. Imagine how bad it will get with cabin rentalss taking over vans in parks for low rent areas.

Cupie
8 months ago
Reply to  Fly

Theft from these Frazer Coast beachfront CPs has always been an issue. For that reason we have always stayed at other parks with no problems. On a recent stay we chose the Torquay Beachfront with no problems after taking the precautions of leaving the drinks engel in the locked Patrol & putting furniture out of sight. After returning home I have modified the engel so that I can use a padlock together with chaining it to the van suspension when camped.

Clarkey
8 months ago

Nobody seems to mention the Judicial system where the courts just let these criminals go every time with at best a smack on the wrist. Has any victim been satisified with the penalties given out by the courts. About time our Magistrates and Judges are put on 5 year contracts and given the boot if not coming up to community expectations instead of a job for life no matter what they do.

Helen Klinberg
8 months ago

Re dogs in parks
Why is it that I have to pay extra for my grandchildren to accompany me when people with dogs do not pay extra when the dogs are washed/ cleaned and “some” wash the dogs bedding etc in the washing machines
One of the parks we stay in regularly we have dubbed the path to the beach as poop alley – the sunrise rush heads down the path but no one comes back with a poop bag and when it is really hot ooooow weee does that path way smell

Janice Tidemann
8 months ago

We have stayed at the Scarness Caravan Park many times, over recent years. Break ins and theft were common. We were told that the offenders start at the Urangan Van Park, work their way down to Pialba on successive nights, then start again. Scarness Van Park does have CCTV cameras at beach access points, however, when we reported our last break in to the site manager, he wasn’t interested, just said ‘report it to the Police’. We did report it to the Police, who advised us to return to the Van Park and ask to view the CCTV footage. If we saw anything interesting, to let them know. When I asked to look at the footage, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to that – it was an invasion of privacy and how would I like that! I advised the Manager that I had just returned from the Police Station and that is what I was told to do. She immediately got on the phone to the Police Officer in Charge, who confirmed that no, I could not review the CCTV footage. I told him that the Officers manning the front desk, need to be better informed and if nobody was going to review the CCTV footage, what was the point of having it there. He assured me that his officers would be viewing it later, which they did. It clearly showed two youths coming up from the beach, one entering our closed in annexe and staying for 4mins, the other entering the annexe of the van next to ours and staying for 7 mins. The items stolen were taken back down to the beach, where presumably, there was a waiting person, before they returned to ‘do over’ more vans. The Police armed with this knowledge and footage, visited us and made sympathetic noises about our experience, but was there ever an outcome? Were these juveniles ever apprehended, I doubt it. Too much paperwork. The Magistrate lets them off. What’s the point? Without consequence, knowing they can get away with it, they become cockier, their petty crime increases and the viscious cycle continues.

Gary
8 months ago

Well said!

Otzi
8 months ago

Thanks for the effort of a long reply. At least you have spelt out what most people already know, with clarity. The million $ question is what is the next step and which section of society is to be considered? There are so many choices, hence nothing gets done.

Annette Furner
8 months ago

We are up to our 27th stay at this caravan park. We’ve had one ‘attempt’ of theft from our trailer but other than that we make a point of leaving nothing out in the open which represents a target for thieves. The park & the Managers are amazing. It’s just a case of people taking responsibility for their own security & not letting low-lifes spoil their stay.

JOHN LUCRE
8 months ago

never had anything stolen at freecamps all over Australia

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