Residents sleeping with one eye open after wave of break-ins
IN WHAT can only be described as a public outcry, Gladstone region residents have shared their growing safety fears.
Following Monday's terrifying tale of one Clinton family's 3am home invasion experience, The Observer readers have come forward with their own recent break-in stories.
During the early hours of Sunday morning, Jacki (pictured) and her family were wrenched out of their dream-filled slumbers and woke up to a real-life nightmare. An intruder was lurking inside their home.
The violation of privacy left Jacki's 25-year-old son, who was the first to realise there was a stranger inside his house, reeling.
"My son ran into my room and said, 'Someone's just been inside the house'," Jacki said.
"He had woken up from the flickering of a torch outside his door."
More than 120 individual comments were added to the thread on social media (see some of them above), with many people claiming incidents like this were only getting worse.
One person said things had spiralled out of control these past 12 months, to the point where it was hard to feel safe.
Another asked when and where it would end and how families were supposed to sleep ever again if they didn't feel safe in their own homes.
Jacki said the intrusion was her family's fault because they had not locked the front door.
But while the taking of ownership was admirable, it was deemed unnecessary by some readers, who said the intruder had no right to be inside someone else's house without the family knowing in the first place.
Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Andersen said Gladstone police kept track of all offences and had not seen a dramatic increase in Gladstone burglaries compared to last year's offences.
"In relation to crime figures in relation to burglary, we have not seen any significant increase to these offences. These include burglaries to houses, business and other buildings," he said.
"I cannot say why more people are saying their houses are being broken into. I would say ... that the issue isn't growing but awareness is."
Det Sen Sergeant Andersen said social media could be credited for the "growing awareness" , which he encouraged.
"The community's awareness of crime and having discussions about it is a good thing as it encourages neighbours, etcetera, to keep an eye on other houses in their streets and report suspicious activity to police," he said.
"It also encourages people to be aware of activity in commercial locations and in schools during holiday periods."
Contact Police Link on 131 444 or in an emergency contact 000.