‘Terrified’: Family’s pain after car sent into drink
A young Townsville family has been left stranded and thousands of dollars out of pocket after young criminals broke into their home, stole both their cars and dumped one in the middle of a lake.
Seanne Breeding and partner Corey Dawson were still reeling after watching their car be towed from a body of water on Tuesday night, more than a week after the thieves crept into their sleeping household and stole their vehicles.The Gulliver residents' Ford Falcon was among three stolen vehicles pulled from the lake opposite Castle Town Shopping Centre.
Police suspect the cars, which also included a BMW and a Toyota, had been dumped just hours earlier.
The cars were damaged beyond repair, leaving Ms Breeding and her family to deal with the financial strain.
The mother of two said she unusually slept through the night when thieves broke into her home on August 2 and stole both the Ford and a Hyundai.
She woke the next morning to find the front door's lock broken and the door ajar.
"I looked down the stairs and could see the front door open," she said.
"My partner ran downstairs and I ran to the window and both cars were gone."
Ms Breeding, whose autistic child was in the house at the time, was upset at the thought of something worse happening.
"It really terrified us," she said.
The Hyundai was eventually found with smashed windows and a "cooked engine" in the days after it was stolen, but was still at the repair shop.
After some sightings of the Ford gave them hope, Ms Breeding got the call the car was found submerged on Tuesday afternoon.
The car, which cost her partner more than $2000, was uninsured.
"I went down (to the lake) … he was really devastated as he had just saved up for the car two months before it happened," Ms Breeding said.
Police were still investigating the incident, but Townsville District Eastern Patrol Group Inspector Damien Crosby said young "recidivist offenders" were likely to blame.
"It's very disappointing and an example of senseless destruction of someone's hard-earned property and possessions," he said.
Insp Crosby said one of the waterlogged cars was among five vehicles stolen by the same group on Tuesday night.
Ms Breeding said the current response to crime was not good enough.
"These kids and teenagers know that can get away with stuff," she said.
"I'm glad it was just the cars rather than our kids, but it still doesn't make it okay.
"There needs to be harsher punishments in place."
Mundingburra MP Coralee O'Rourke assured the community police would take action.
Ms O'Rourke said recent law changes by her government were meant to make community safety priorities "crystal clear".
Originally published as 'Terrified': Family's pain after car sent into drink