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Stolen bag and the Lyneham IGA / St George blackspot

Auntyem 1 August 2010 20

Last week in the evening someone stole my handbag from my kitchen. To cut a long story short I was cooking dinner and had the back door open. I walked out of the kitchen for about 3 minutes and when I returned my bag was gone.  Naturally I felt terrified that someone had been in my house and incredibly stupid for leaving the back door open (which I’ll never do again).

Apart from getting my credit cards they also got my glasses, house keys, car keys, post office box keys, drivers licence and all those other personal items (like photos of kids in my wallet) that are very difficult to replace. The police attended and I must say they were very nice and didn’t treat me like a twit for leaving my back door open. All cards were cancelled and locks changed. I hope the junkie spent the five bucks I had in my wallet wisely.

After some investigation during the week I found something you may be interested in if this ever happens to you. I live very close to the city where there are about 20 ATMs (that I’ve counted so far) within very close walking distance. But the interesting thing is that the thief didn’t try any of these. He/she went all the way to Lyneham (within an hour) and attempted to use my cards (to no avail as I’d cancelled them). I thought this was odd so I did some investigations of my own. St George own the ATM at the Lyneham shops at the IGA. I called St George and asked if they could provide the pictures from the ATM to the police and they told me this machine has no camera because it is in a shop and shops have cameras. I called IGA and asked if they had film from the time/date my cards were placed in the machine and they told me they don’t have a camera on the ATM because it’s just outside the shop.   

I don’t know if I’m breaking any laws telling people this but I’m hoping this information gives you a starting point if you’re ever in the same situation and are quick enough to get there and wait for them because this is the first place I’d be checking. It’s obviously well known to thieves and I’ve written to St George to let them know.

My bag is very soft brown leather with a broken strap that has been tied back on. My glasses are multifocal and in a hard black glasses case. My keys have a small Eiffel tower on the key ring (a present from my sister). The thief tried to use the keys to my house at 4:30 Thursday morning but the locks had been changed (yes – it was very scary) so they may have just thrown them somewhere.  If you’ve seen any of these things could you please post here or hand them into the police.

 Many thanks

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20 Responses to Stolen bag and the Lyneham IGA / St George blackspot
excession excession 9:23 am 02 Aug 10

These days, I’m so hard nosed cynical, I think it’s only reasonable to drop the pretense, and become a society where theft is much much riskier for the perpetrators. Rather than a lenient court/legal system, something a little more permanent. For instance, the middle-east practice of chopping off hands for a start, and being buried alive at second offenses. Think of it as evolution in action.

Of course this is just fantasy, for every 95 thieves caught, there would (statistically speaking) be some innocents ‘labelled’ thieves, and punished although they did no crime.

Sigh. Even ridiculous plans have obvious downsides.

Sorry about the experience you had, especially the followup 4:30am attempt to break in, it makes for grim thoughts, instilling a feeling that you’re never truly safe.

prhhcd prhhcd 9:04 am 02 Aug 10

thank you for sharing. Good luck recovering your glasses etc. I found mine in some nearby bushland when a similar thing happened to me. They got $15 out of my wallet… Not worth it either.

Davo111 Davo111 8:29 am 02 Aug 10

hopefully they will dump your handbag somewhere and you’ll get it all back. (well, minus the cash of course)

Best of luck

toriness toriness 7:00 am 02 Aug 10

Ceej1973 said :

I would like to add comment in regard to house security. Theives are known to “break in” to homes (that is), thru roofs or locked doors in the night, whilst the residents are sleeping. I have seen advice a little while back, that you should keep all your valuables (keys, money, mobiles etc) in the bedroom where you sleep, and not sitting in the kitchen or with the keys in the car ignition. Personally, I keep my valuables (hidden) in my bedroom in the daytime as well.

i’d much rather my wallet was stolen out of my kitchen and i discover the theft in the light of day than some scum of the earth came into my bedroom in search of something in the dead of night.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 6:35 am 02 Aug 10

AuntyEm, it sounds like you’ve done all the right things, so with a bit of luck the scum who did this figure that they’ve tried every option and will now move on to something or someone else. A nasty experience, but at least that’s all it was.

facet facet 6:18 am 02 Aug 10

It is only a very small proportion of the community that commits crime however they cause alot of distress to everyone else. Many of these petty criminals go on to commit more serious crime without regard to anybody else, they even think it clever because there is: (a) very little chance of getting caught and (b) if caught, of facing any serious consequence.
To our police it is a very low priority (more of an administrative burden). The courts protect repeat habitual offenders by giving them similar rights to privacy as law abiding members of the community.
How about publishing photos and information about these guys on the internet. The idea is that if you break the law, you lose the ability to hide amongst the majority who respect one anothers rights to property. At least this way we would get to know the active crims in the neighbourhood.
The ACT puts more effort into dog control than preventing property crime.

Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 12:29 am 02 Aug 10

Regarding why they’d try at the ATM, it’s not unheard of for people to foolishly use their birthday as their PIN, so since the thieves already know that number thanks to the drivers licence…

The cat did it The cat did it 10:16 pm 01 Aug 10

Ms cat had a disappointing experience with St George and one of their Civic ATMs. She considered them less than helpful, and no longer banks with them.

NickD NickD 8:47 pm 01 Aug 10

basketcase said :

Possibly the lack of cameras is well known to the thieves?

If it wasn’t before, it will be by now 🙁

cranky cranky 8:18 pm 01 Aug 10

Perhaps a covert Police operated camera for a week or two would spring a bunch of little toe-rags.

But then they go to court 🙁

bd84 bd84 7:43 pm 01 Aug 10

Surprising that the ATM didn’t have a camera, I thought that all ATMs had a camera fitted these days. I guess St George are lazy and behind the times. Although, the camera doesn’t really guarantee the offender will get caught.

I would have been waiting for the offender with a cricket bat when they returned ..

Ceej1973 Ceej1973 6:35 pm 01 Aug 10

I would like to add comment in regard to house security. Theives are known to “break in” to homes (that is), thru roofs or locked doors in the night, whilst the residents are sleeping. I have seen advice a little while back, that you should keep all your valuables (keys, money, mobiles etc) in the bedroom where you sleep, and not sitting in the kitchen or with the keys in the car ignition. Personally, I keep my valuables (hidden) in my bedroom in the daytime as well.

basketcase basketcase 3:22 pm 01 Aug 10

Possibly the lack of cameras is well known to the thieves?

emd emd 3:17 pm 01 Aug 10

Good thing you changed the locks so fast!
Similar thing happened to me a few years ago, except my house keys were in my pocket at the time, and I was also able to cancel cards and phone before they were used. If you want your bag and its non-cash-value contents back, try looking in neighbouring gardens on the walk from your house to Lyneham IGA. That’s where my bag turned up, minus the cash.

Auntyem Auntyem 1:26 pm 01 Aug 10

Harryhaller #5 – I think they tried the ATM because they only got five dollars from my purse and they were desperate for cash. Most places have cameras so if they had gone into a shop and tried to use the cards they would be on film (particularly in Civic because there are cameras everywhere).

They used one card in the ATM in Lyneham three times (rejected PIN) before it was swallowed. The second card they only tried once and it was swallowed. I’d say they take a stab in the dark at the PIN hoping to strike the jackpot. They had my driver’s license and I think sometimes people use their date of birth as a PIN so they can remember it – luckily I didn’t.

harryhaller harryhaller 11:06 am 01 Aug 10

Serious question as I may be missing something obvious: Why would a thief take the cards and *try* them at an ATM at all? Don’t you need a PIN for them to be useful for about anything? I can see a thief trying to purchase something on a credit card and forging your signature, but why an ATM? Strikes me as futile.

indigoid indigoid 10:58 am 01 Aug 10

The STG bigwigs with their likely sizeable investments in stocks like Coles and Woolies would probably prefer that you didn’t shop at IGA


toriness toriness 10:30 am 01 Aug 10

bloody bastards. would have been awful to have them try the lock especially as you were at home (and most people would be at that time???). a lesson for all of us in changing locks.

hopefully your letter to st george has some sort of impact – it’s not only an issue in terms of stolen cards (although how would they successfully withdraw anything without your PIN?) but also legitimate ATM users’ security.

i have to say i am disturbed by this story as i am at that IGA reasonably often.

grumpyrhonda grumpyrhonda 10:13 am 01 Aug 10

Stinking rotten low life pond dwelling scumbags! I’m glad you were able to cancel cards and change locks quickly.

Ernie Ernie 9:53 am 01 Aug 10

Wow, thanks for sharing. That would have been scary for you but it’s wonderful to hear you did all the right things. Hopefully you will get some items back.

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