THIEVES STRIKE: Debrah Novak inspects her car abandoned by thieves at Maclean yesterday.
THIEVES STRIKE: Debrah Novak inspects her car abandoned by thieves at Maclean yesterday.

Heartless thieves trash precious car

By SALLY GORDON

sally.gordon@

dailyexaminer.com.au

THIEVES who stole a car so they could take it on a reckless joyride around Maclean yesterday morning obviously didn't care how their crime would hurt the owner.

The sedan, stolen from a carpark at the rear of the Coastal Views office in Clyde Street, was recovered in a sad state ? two windows were smashed, the underbody was trashed and the front damaged.

The 1991 Ford Laser's engine will not start and now the car is in police custody for finger printing.

The car belongs to well-known Coastal Views/Daily Examiner photographer Debrah Novak, of Yamba.

The callous theft has left Ms Novak without one of the most important tools of her trade ? a method of transport.

On any given day the photographer can be required to travel to anywhere up to 17 different jobs around the Lower Clarence. It's put me in a difficult position. I can't afford to buy a new car," she said.

"And how am I suppose to get to work?"

Ms Novak said she was told of the theft by police late yesterday morning.

Police said a group of people had been heard drinking near the carpark before Ms Novak's car was stolen.

Maclean police Sergeant Harley Willox said officers had been told during an investigation of the theft that people had heard the car windows being smashed before the sedan was driven away sometime after 1am.

Sgt Willox said the car ended up at Maclean High School's sports ground. The thieves had driven the car on laps of the oval.

"They've driven up a rise on the oval and tried to go between the trees and on to the carpark area, and got (the car) wedged on the gutter of the carpark," Sgt Willox said.

Ms Novak believes her car may not have been taken if residents, hearing the sound of the windows being broken, had immediately reported the incident to police.

"Hopefully this is not a sign of our community not wanting to become involved. We should be keeping an eye out for one another," she said.

Police urge Valley residents to report crime.

"People can ring us anonymously and provide information, then we can act ... no matter what time of the night or day," Sgt Willox said.

"If people are ringing the station and the call is not answered by Maclean police it indicates we're out doing patrol work ... police are informed of jobs on the radio."



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