BEAUFORT locals say they are fed up with a petty crime wave around their small town.
In the last couple of months, the town of less than 2000 people has been inundated with a series of small crimes and locals say they have had enough.
Residents The Courier has spoken to said hey have had to put up with vandalism, including at the local pool, broken windows, break ins and thefts of items that you think wouldn’t even be worth stealing and they’ve had enough.
It comes just two months after an ATM in the centre of town was destroyed with police saying “a significant amount” of cash stolen.
One resident said having lived in Beaufort for almost 20 years, it was the first time they had ever had items stolen.
“I had my open-closed sign taken, you would have to wonder why anyone would possibly feel the need to do this,” the resident said.
Another said they had had banana lounges stolen, while another said they chased away some offenders who had attempted to steal a trampoline.
Another said Christmas decorations were also vandalised throughout the town while a shelter for a school crossing supervisor was also targeted.
One resident, who spoke to The Courier said it was frustrating that every time something happened in the town, a lack of policing was meaning offenders were getting away.
READ MORE:ATM heist in Beaufort
“Whether people like to admit it or not, there are lots of drugs around,” the resident said. “There’s also people around that say that kids are bored and there’s nothing for them to do, but I think that’s a cop out, I was bored growing up, but I didn’t need to go around vandalising property.
“I had a ladder stolen myself and on New Year’s Eve, I came around the corner and one of my neighbours had chairs on their verandah thrown on the footpath.
“Then there’s the Christmas lights and the pool, it’s just disgusting, it’s appalling.”
The resident said more policing throughout the town was needed.
“Whenever something happens, you need to get someone from Ballarat or Ararat to come up and by the time they get here, the offenders have disappeared,” the resident said. “They know that and they can get away with it.”
Inspector Dan Davison said while police had not noticed any spike in crime in the region, it was likely petty crime was simply not being reported to police.
“We are not aware of any official spike in the Beaufort, but there is certainly potential for under reporting in such cases as we see here,” Inspector Davison said.
“In reality, police only find out about these types of things if they are reported to us, you should report any stolen goods or thefts and we will investigate it.”
He said investigation into the ATM theft were continuing.
Anyone wishing to report a crime can ring Beaufort Police Station on 5349 2101. If the station is unmanned, the call will be forwarded to Ballarat Police. Anyone with information about any crime can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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