Daring park theft
A SILENT cat-burglar robbed New Zealand tourists Beverley and Colin Warren of their passports, plastic bank cards and valuables but was unable to steal one personal treasure - their love for the Tweed.
The burglar struck the couple's caravan park cabin in the dead of night the day after they arrived from Christchurch for their annual winter pilgrimage to Australia and the Tweed.
Either taking advantage of a few moments when Mr Warren stepped out to the toilet, or lifting the cabin door to free the lock, the burglar snatched a handbag, sitting centimetres from Mrs Warren's pillow as she slept.
In the pitch black of last Wednesday night the burglar worked his way around a sofa and other furniture in the Tweed Shire Council-run Boyd's Bay caravan park to also steal Mr Warren's $450 watch, wallet with various cards, mobile phone and passports.
Also taken was hundreds of New Zealand dollars which would need to be changed to Aussie currency.
"We had a long day the day before and both had a little bit of jet lag. We went to bed about half-past-eight, which in our brain was half-past-ten," said Mrs Warren, still horrified that a thief had come so close as she slept.
It was the first time the couple have ever had a problem holidaying in Australia, but it has not affected their love for the Tweed.
"We like it here. We've been to the Tweed a dozen times and we are now very familiar with what's around," said Mrs Warren, who was also full of praise for local National Bank staff whom she said had quickly helped them withdraw extra holiday funds.
The couple stayed in the Boyd's Bay caravan park during a special, motorhome trip around Australia last year and were impressed enough to return.
And they say they were used to taking precautions in holiday parks.
"We actually live permanently in a caravan park at home, so we are pretty clued up," said Mrs Warren, who added police had told her the thief must have had "eyes like a cat".
The couple have had to pay $500 for replacement passports, have ordered new bank cards and had to replace items such as a black handbag, Colin's wallet and wristwatch and still face the need to replace stolen "keyless" electronic keys for their car back in Christchurch, and housekeys.
They are hoping someone on the Tweed might find some of the stolen goods discarded and either call Tweed Heads police, themselves at the Boyd's Bay Holiday Park or the Daily News newsroom on 07 55236244.