I SLEEP WITH A BAT
By SAMANTHA HEALY
MICHELLE Wishart (right) is so scared of intruders she has taken to sleeping with a bat beside her bed.
Fellow Cabarita resident Carolyn Wood prefers a golf club.
The women are the latest victims of what they fear is a wave of brazen crime in the normally peaceful beachside community in recent months which includes home invasions, theft and car break-ins.
Mrs Wishart's family home was broken into for the second time in 18 months in the early hours last Thursday morning and her handbag was stolen.
"When I realised my house key was in my bag I really freaked," she said yesterday.
"I just want my wallet back ... I had photos of my mum before she died."
But the most frightening aspect of the robbery has been the effect it has had on Mrs Wishart's children.
"We have bats beside our beds now just in case," Mrs Wishart said.
"My 11-year-old now checks all of the locks and won't sleep in his own room. He has this real fear. "It's heart-wrenching. It's the most violating feeling."
Mrs Wood is just as afraid after being startled awake by a thief who broke into her home last Tuesday.
The robber, described as being about 17, ran away after being confronted by a drowsy Ms Wood who screamed: "I know who you are?"
"It was so brazen to break in while the television was still on," Ms Wood said.
"I woke up when I heard rustling from the bedroom."
Mrs Wood's partner Michael Durrant was asleep in the bedroom when the thief began rifling through an old handbag belonging to Ms Wood.
Mr Durrant's wallet was stolen.
"I have no doubt he or they were locals," said Mrs Wood.
"I've got a golf club and a torch now if I hear a bump in the night."
Senior Constable Stuart Crawford said Tweed police had only recorded five break-and-enters in the Bogangar/Cabarita area since January, but residents, including Mrs Wishart and Mrs Wood, are adamant the number of home and car break-ins is much higher.
Both families are now urging their neighbours to properly secure their property and keep valuables out of sight.
Police are still investigating the burglaries.