Elderly Moree woman assaulted during break-and-enter

A 79-year-old woman was assaulted when she confronted intruders at her Boland Drive home on Sunday evening.

The woman confronted a group of unknown males who struck her to the head and arms as she attempted to defend herself.

The woman fell to the ground after which the offenders entered the property and stole a number of personal items.

The victim was conveyed to Moree Hospital for treatment.

This is the second attack on an elderly Moree resident in their own home in recent months.

Police, including crime scene officers, were called to the scene and conducted a canvas of the area where a number of items of interest were located.

Barwon Local Area Command Superintendent Paul McDonald said the incident is “disturbing”

“A break-in such as experienced by this lady is extremely disturbing . . . people should be able to feel safe in their homes,” Mr McDonald said.

“Any break-in can be distressing for victims but when there are criminals in this community who are actively targeting the elderly and vulnerable to steal valuables, it is particularly disturbing.

“The elderly and vulnerable deserve to be respected and to live their lives without fear from such criminals.moreepolicestation003

“Investigators will continue to canvas homes and known offenders in an attempt to identify these persons who prey on innocent and hard-working people,” he said.

“Any persons who saw the males or any suspicious activity in the vicinity of Boland Drive around this time are urged to contact our investigators as a matter of urgency.”

Mr McDonald reminds residents that whilst offenders such as these continue to target homes in the Moree area, residents must ensure they take all reasonable precautions both day and night to protect their homes.

“Ensure deadlocks on windows and doors are used and report any suspicious behaviour to police immediately,” Mr McDonald said.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:

Information provided will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Police remind people that they should not report crime information via police Facebook and Twitter pages.

Meanwhile, 75 offenders have been charged with more than offences already this month in Barwon Local Area Command.

Significant arrests include:

  • A 15-year-old male bail refused for his alleged involvement in arson, vehicle & property theft at Boggabilla;
  • A 33-year-old male bail refused for his alleged involvement in firearms and traffic offences – he was also charged with Skye’s Law following a pursuit in Moree on Saturday 11 November 2017;
  • Seven warrant offenders; and
  • A 28-year-old male remains bail refused after he was charged with arson offences at the Moree Cell Complex last month.

“The use of covert and overt strategies to address drug and property crime has continued this past week include high visibility patrols on trail-bikes within the Moree Sector,” Mr McDonald said.

Police continue to stress the danger of rock-throwing activities, and urge anyone who witnesses offenders throwing rocks at vehicles to contact them immediately.

“The act of throwing a rock at people, places and vehicles is not only cowardly and stupid; it is downright dangerous and police have and will take action against identified offenders,” Mr McDonald said.

With many offenders identified as being young children it is a timely reminder for parents and carers to be aware of where their children are and what they are doing.

“Juvenile offending in the Moree sector is a real issue for police right now with young persons aged as young as eight years being identified in property and street crime,” Mr McDonald said.

Issues that are concerning for police is that the offenders are not necessarily just from Moree and there are people, parents, carers and local residents, who are aware of the identity of these offenders.

“The New South Wales Police Force along with other government services, are focused on changing attitudes through intervention,” Mr McDonald said.

“If you incarcerate an offender, whether they are a juvenile or an adult who continually commits offences, it’s only common sense that while they are incarcerated the crime reduces until they are released.

“Then they revert to the ingrained behaviour and the challenge for us and other government agencies is to turn that around.”

In the meantime Mr McDonald said the majority of juvenile offending was related to opportunistic property crime.

If it’s not locked up, it’s not a matter of if, it’s when it will get stolen,” he said.

Police are also aware of anecdotal information relating to various crimes such as malicious damage, cruelty to animals and property crime within the Moree sector however without reports directly from victims, police are unable to investigate.

Media Release: November 20, 2017