A BALLARAT couple fed up with thefts and vandalism in their neighbourhood have fought back with the help of Big Brother.
Annie Ryan and Mark Barrins, who have eight CCTV cameras installed around their Drummond Street home, recorded two vandals ripping the letterbox from their fence and walking away with it at 5.30am on Saturday morning.
The couple, who had just purchased the $110 letterbox, were able to hand the footage straight over to police, who are now hoping someone from the public will recognise and report the culprits
Mr Barrins, who works in the IT industry, installed the cameras two years ago as a security precaution and the couple has been shocked at the things they have gone on to record.
“It doesn’t make you feel very comfortable that the things you own aren’t necessarily safe outside,” Ms Ryan said.
“It’s disrespectful to peoples’ property. You think Ballarat’s not like that and you don’t expect it.”
It comes after an incident last year in which their CCTV system caught a man stealing from their car, when a fault caused it to unlock in the middle of the night.
“You see a bloke walk past and he hears the car unlock and approaches it,” Mr Barrins said.
“He rummages around and takes the GPS. He goes to my neighbour’s house, where I’d put cameras in, and dumps the GPS in a bush to go back for more.”
Mr Barrins said a few of their friends and neighbours were now getting on board and installing CCTV cameras of their own, which had resulted in at least one arrest.
“It’s sad that you have to go to these lengths but more and more people are doing it,” he said.
Ballarat Police senior constable Janine Walker urged local residents to contact police when they were victims of crime.
“From the police perspective, we want to ask people if they’ve had an incident at home to report it to police regardless of whether they think it is important or not,” she said.
“We need to know these incidents are happening, so we can find trends which are occurring and pick up on them through analysis so we can address the issue.
“Members of the community are getting wise with their own methods of crime prevention and using things like CCTV cameras. We need to know the hot spots.”