Heartless thieves steal cancer cash
CRAIG Franklin shakes his head as he looks around his Copmanhurst property.
An idyllic country setting complete with chickens, kittens and even a pony, it hardly seems the place for a callous crime.
Yet on Sunday, Craig and his family were the victims of burglars who trashed the house and tried to nick off with the children's toys, and stole nearly $1500 Craig raised for cancer research.
“I'm filthy, just filthy,” he said.
“That money was for kids with cancer, to help find a cure, you can't find a much more noble cause ... to know it's not going to make it, I can't believe it.”
Craig shaved his head on March 27 for the Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave. For the past few weeks he has been busy collecting $1480 in pledges, and had planned to send the money, complete with receipt book, back to the charity this week.
A well known jockey, he initially set himself a target of $500 and asked family, friends and colleagues to support the cause.
He was amazed to raise that much in one day, with most pledges coming from jockeys, trainers and racing supporters.
“I was pretty proud of myself and the whole racing community,” he said.
A recent fall during track work resulted in a broken collarbone and ribs, forcing Craig to take time off. The family used the opportunity to take one of their first holidays in years, setting out for Taronga Zoo last week, expecting to arrive back tomorrow.
Their trip was cut short when they received a phone call from Kristy's mother Deb Trembath on Sunday, telling them about the break in. She was pulling into the driveway when she saw three youths, aged between 13 and 16, wheeling her grandson's quad bike out of the shed.
“I tooted the horn and the three dogs ran up and the kids just took off,” she said.
Later, the Franklin's discovered a heavy pillow case stuffed full with jewellery, a Playstation and other items, dropped by the thieves. Unfortunately the money, which had been hidden at the back of a cupboard, was still missing.
Craig said he would not try to raise the money again.
“Times are tough, I was impressed people could give that much in the first place,” he said.
He hoped the culprits might come forward if they knew the money was meant for charity.
“They don't have to turn up and apologise, they can send it to the police, drop it into the letter box, whatever,” he said.
He hoped parents might notice if their children spent money on expensive items.
- Anyone with information should contact Grafton Police on 6642 0222.