Marika Tyas Tunggal checks the stolen goods.
Marika Tyas Tunggal checks the stolen goods.

Worker waits hours for police

ABOUT lunchtime yesterday, a group of four men were in Yamba’s Fandango Surf shop when it is alleged one man attempted to walk out wearing what the shop assistant suspected were shoes removed from the store.

After a confrontation with the alleged offender, who apparently spoke little English, casual shop assistant Marika Tyas Tunggal phoned the Yamba Police Station to report what she suspected to be a shoplifting incident.

Marika said that her call was immediately diverted to Grafton, and the officer who assisted with the call could not provide any information as to when the police may arrive.

Meanwhile, bystanders assisted Marika to pursue the men as they were seen to disperse in the direction of the Yamba Calypso Caravan Park.

The men were observed entering a vehicle, however, it was soon blocked by another car owned by a bystander who was assisting with the pursuit.

A short while later, at one o’clock, one of the men accused of shoplifting was observed by a witness, Marika’s mum Helen Tyas Tunggal, sitting on the grass behind The Daily Examiner office, where he may have been waiting for his friends.

Helen Tyas Tunggal took photos and kept watch.

Finally, the man walked casually down Coldstream Street, heading east.

Almost two-and-a-half hours after Marika made her first call to the police, and despite a number of calls made as the situation was unfolding, Marika said she was still waiting.

Fandango Surf’s owner, Wayne Dwyer said: “The real issue is, of course, where are the police when you need them? What are we going to do if something serious happens?

“I appreciate that the police have a lot of work to do, but this situation just highlights the frustrations we’ve got here in Yamba.”

Mr Dwyer said in the past he had witnessed violent bashings in the street and when he reported the incidents, the police did not attend for more than two hours.

In this case, he said: “We have photos and licence plate numbers, but unfortunately I lack the confidence that the police will do anything about it”.

Marika said: “It makes you feel vulnerable.”

As she continued to wait for the police to arrive, she said: “Thank goodness it wasn’t anything vicious.”

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