News

Young girl falls through Gympie store's roof

BUSINESS is through the roof at Barbara Tiplady's Wild Harvest organic food store in Reef St - but not in a good way.

"Why me?" she said yesterday, as she surveyed the damage caused when a teenage girl crashed through her roof and fell 5m on to concrete and rocks at the front of her shop in the early hours of yesterday morning.

"I'm not used to people breaking in," she said, adding: "Why would anyone bother?

"I never keep money or valuables here... unless they're desperate for some organic muesli."

But police said yesterday it did not appear that there was any dishonest motive for the intrusion, or even any motive at all.

THE girl appeared to have entered the front section of the store entirely by accident, when she stepped on a brittle plastic skylight section of the roof.

Police and ambulance officers say she was extremely lucky not to have been much more seriously injured, although the injuries she did have were serious enough for her to be transferred from Gympie to Nambour Hospital yesterday.

Like a lot of other Gympie CBD businesses, Barbara Tiplady does not need any extra challenges.

"I said to the police, 'I've been flooded five times. I don't need this," she said yesterday.

"I got called at 2.30am and the police said I had to get here. I said, 'You're joking.' It was dark and wet and I live at Noosa. I was here about 3.45am."

Additional damage was caused to a roller door at the shop's Reef St frontage, where the girl's adult companions apparently tried to break in to help.

"That's what I think must have happened. The girl must have been in pain. She would have been screaming.

"The people with her probably thought they had to get in to help her.

"They called 000.

"Things are hard enough in business," she said.

"You could say I need this like a hole in the roof," she said.

It's so stupid: Police

GYMPIE police officer in charge Gregg Davey said it was lucky injuries suffered by a girl who fell through a shop roof yesterday were not "grievous or fatal".

"It was just an absolute act of stupidity," he said.

"The people with her were adults. We've had kids engaging in this sort of thing out of a bit of bravado, but adults should have more sense."

He said a man, 38, and a woman, 25, had been charged with "unregulated high risk activity."

"It's a charge that covers things like climbing buildings or other structures, base jumping or parachuting off buildings.

"But running across old roofs in the dark and rain is very dangerous, especially with air-conditioners and other electrical fittings.

"As a result of this, we're ramping up our patrols, on foot and by vehicle.

"And we'll be looking up, in case they fall on us," he said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  break and enter, gympie business



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