A senior police detective yesterday advised frightened homeowners to “get a dog” as one of the best ways to increase personal security in the wake of a wave of break-ins and home invasions across Tamworth.
Detective Senior Constable Graham Goodwin nominated the family pet as one easy
remedy among tighter security measures Tamworth homeowners can adopt in the fight against crime – but he also took a hardline on the criminals behind the break-ins calling them nothing but “gutless cowards”.
Detective Goodwin was speaking after the release of a computer-aided image of a man wanted in relation to one attack – against a defenceless 81-year-old woman living alone in her Bell St, South Tamworth, home – overnight Monday.
“Elderly people are getting scared, we accept that,” he said.
“These are a bunch of cowards picking on frail people. They are just gutless cowards as far as I am concerned.”
Detective Goodwin also admitted it was obvious thieves were casing homes for potential break-ins and identifying low-risk targets.
This includes homes owned by the elderly and the frail, people living alone and homes easily accessed and with lower security.
The elderly woman victim of the Bell St attack fits that description but there were disturbing overtones that prompted a new prong in the police search.
The wanted man’s description and the comfit photo, plastered over the front page of
yesterday’s Leader, has been widely circulated and the response from locals was pleasing.
“We’ve had a couple of people nominate some persons of interest after seeing that,” Detective Goodwin said yesterday.
“So we’re in the process of following those up and tracing those people and speaking to them.
“Any information is pleasing.”
He admitted that investigating police were also following another couple of leads of inquiry into the search for the man but would not divulge their nature.
The wanted man threatened the elderly woman with sexual overtones although he did not physically assault her.
The turn in the tone of the break-in, where the woman was verbally taunted with threats of a sexual nature, has given police cause for more worry.
It is believed to be the first incident of its kind. Police have yet to establish if it is isolated or an escalation of perverted behaviour from someone who has been active in breaking into houses before.