Del Vipen
Del Vipen

Grandmother fends off would-be robber

By TAMARA KEMP ? DEL Vipen is one cool customer.

The 69-year-old North Rockhampton grandmother of seven did not let fear overcome her when she was confronted by an intruder in her North Rockhampton residence on the weekend.

On Sunday morning, she returned home from church about 10.15 to find her back window smashed.

As she entered her High Street home, Mrs Vipen said she thought she heard her front screen door rattling.

She walked in to find a 32-year-old man walking towards her with his hands above his head, yelling loudly.

"He startled me,'' she said. "I took a step back and kept telling myself to get a good look at him.''

Mrs Vipen said she saw a recycling bag filled with goods and jewellery in the lounge room.

She said the man had also tried to take four meat pies, some mince and frankfurts from her freezer.

The man left without the bag and food, but took some cash.

Mrs Vipen said standing back and getting a good look at the intruder was the best thing she could have done.

She phoned Triple-0 as soon as he left the house.

"I probably caught him off- guard because he was quick to leave the house after seeing me,'' she said.

"It's an uncomfortable feeling knowing that he had been through the house and a number of my drawers.''

Mrs Vipen said she had lived in the house for more than 50 years and had never experienced anything like it.

"I still feel a little jumpy. I guess this is the reason so many people lock up tight,'' she said.

"I am a little more careful and will be locking up the house, even if I am outside just to water the garden,'' she said. Mrs Vipen said police told her the man had used a hammer to break the window open.

She said she had found a hammer under her bed that night.

"I also noticed that he had used a pair of my socks so he could put them over his hands.''

Rockhampton CIB Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Dalton said the incident was a good example of how the police and the community could work together to solve crimes.

He said thanks to Mrs Vipen's excellent description, police were able to arrest and charge a man.

Acting Senior Sergeant Dalton said a man would appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on breaking and entering and stealing charges.



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