The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

Phone 07 5494 2454
Fax 07 54943268

"After four break-ins
we've had enough"

by Cameron Outridge

After four break-ins Beerwah Surf and Sk8 owners Dean and Shona Hume are calling for a 24 hour police presence in the town. They say the Police are little help in Beerwah despite the huge new Station minutes down the road. “You go up and down the streets of Beerwah and ask the business owners about police and they’ll say ‘What Police?’,” said Shona.

The most recent break in occurred last Sunday morning January 11. Thieves took off with $10,000 worth of stock. This follows a $20,000 heist and a smaller smash and grab last year where they stole a couple of dozen t-shirts. Dean said it was frustrating to think there was a large police station moments away.

He said if Beerwah Police had just answered the phone they could have caught the thieves red handed. “I was here within 15 minutes of the alarm going off,’’ he said. Shona said: “I was at home ringing the Beerwah Police direct number and it didn’t even divert. I tried three times and then dialled triple 0.’’

“We just want to see that station manned 24 hours because if it had been they would have ‘After four break-ins, we’ve had enough’ Dean and Shona Hume are battling on despite break-ins. In one incident Shona was knocked to the ground when she was pregnant. A got Shona’s call and they could have just wandered up the street and caught the guys that did this like rats in a cage,” said Dean.

(Dean and Shona Hume are battling on despite break-ins.  In one incident Shona was knocked to the ground when she was pregnant)

The most worrying incident occurred last year when two Nambour youths broke out of the shop carrying two $100 skateboards. In the process they knocked a 30 weeks pregnant Shona to the ground. She had to go to hospital for days and was in danger of losing the baby.

“I stood in the doorway thinking I would be a deterrent,’’ Shona said. “They just knocked me over.” “All we’re trying to do is run a small family business and we keep getting these knocks so we’ve just about had enough,’’ said Dean.

“It’s a good business and the locals support us well.   But it’s hard to get the wind back in your sails when things like this keep happening.”    Dean said they had upgraded their security but to no avail.    Thieves used a sledgehammer in the latest robbery.   “They’re professional, that’s what they are,’’ he said.  “We’ve had two strikes almost exactly the same.   We’ve enhanced our security and they’ve combated it.”   Dean wanted to add that the police that were on duty did a good job.   “What they do they do well,’’ he said.   “We just need more of them.”    A spokesperson for Police Minister Tony McGrady has said that 1700 more officers had been added to the service since 1998.    Despite this, a recent Queensland Police Union Survey shows Coast officers believe they are overworked and their safety is being compromised.

Seventy-seven percent of about 220 Coast police who responded believed budget cuts impeded their ability to do a good policing job.

“All we ask is that the locals continue to support us,’’ said Dean.  “Our insurance premiums are about to skyrocket. If we have good trade it will push us through our tough time.

“If the police have no control in a little town like Beerwah with a big Police Station like that what hope have they got anywhere else?”

The couple is offering a reward for good information about the latest break-in. Phone them on 5494 6271.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.