A BURGLARY occurring just days after Christmas, combined with a spate of crimes in their neighbourhood, have forced a young local family out of their Sebastopol home.
Fed up with attempted break-ins, Rodney and Erin Carter’s pain culminated on December 28 when an unknown man entered their home and stole some of their most prized and personal possessions.
The couple are now in the process of moving, turned away by the level of crime they have experienced in the area.
“We have worked hard for what we have, we have struggled for the last few years and then he thinks he can come in here and take it,” Mrs Carter said.
“It is rude, disgusting.”
The alleged burglary and theft is believed to have occurred at 9.15am.
The pair said their two-year-old daughter Lily was still confused by what was occuring at their Vickers Street house.
“She doesn’t really understand but she is getting a little upset. It is hard for her to go to sleep at night because it is all different for her. All she has had is living here,” Mrs Carter said.
“All she has seen is all of her stuff being thrown into bags and put in the car and taken to her grandparents,” Mr Carter said.
Irreplaceable photos taken immediately after their daughter’s birth were stored on a laptop and camera inside the home which were tragically stolen by the thief.
"They even went as far as taking her Disney princess Oral-B toothbrush"
These photos were among a long list of items taken from the family home including Lily’s Christmas gift, an electronic tablet.
“They even went as far as taking her Disney princess Oral-B toothbrush off the bench,” Mr Carter said
The two-year-old’s money box was also raided by the thief.
Among the other items taken were family heirlooms which included jewellery owned by Mrs Carter’s great grandparents.
A variety of electronic items including a TV, PS3, camera and laptop were also among the stolen items.
Luckily, the family had recently installed a camera on the back of the house, sick of constant break-in attempts not only at their house, but others in the area.
Police believe this man may be able to assist them. PICTURE: CRIME STOPPERS
The family had left the home on the morning of the break-in to go on a much-needed family holiday to Dimboola.
The getaway was short-lived after a phone call from family resulted in them returning later that night to find their home in ruins.
“I know Christmas time is the time it happens but it was just the shock that we had just left for our first holiday in so long,” Mr Carter said.
“At the end of the day we put the security camera in because the cars kept getting done and thankfully we got an image of him.
“It is only a matter of time before the police catch up with him.”
"It is only a matter of time before the police catch up with him"
Mrs Carter urged the alleged thief to return the electronic copies of the pictures which were among the most important and most personal items stolen from their home.
“You can just put it in the mail box, you don’t have to show your face, just put it in there,” she said.
Speaking to The Courier yesterday, Mr Carter praised the work of Ballarat Police who he said had been great during the experience.
“If someone else reads the story and they lock their house up or they catch the guy, it is all worth it in the end,” he said.
Yesterday, police released an image of a man they believed may be able to assist them with their enquiries.
The male is believed to be in his mid 30s with short dark-coloured hair and is unshaven.
At the time of the incident he was wearing a black jacket with red inscription on the back, blue shorts and white and blue Nike Air Max runners.
Anyone who might be able to assist police with their enquiries should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.