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LISTEN: How juvenile thieves ruined a Rocky man's life

Wayne Sichter with his wrecked car that was stolen from his home.
Wayne Sichter with his wrecked car that was stolen from his home. Allan Reinikka ROK171016acarthef

WAYNE Sichter is at his wits end.

For the past 17 years, the 49-year-old has lived a peaceful life at his North St extended home.

But in the past month, his life and personal safety has been turned on its head and he's now scared to even leave his home.

Mr Sichter is the latest victim of Rockhampton's growing juvenile crime problem and in the last few weeks has lost in excess of $20,000 worth of property to young thieves.

About four weeks ago, thieves broke into Mr Sichter's house and stole a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, an iPhone 4S and a men's diamond ring worth around $1000 from his bedroom.

While devastated by the first break-in, Mr Sichter said it's what happened next that has left him furious.

"On Thursday night, the 13th, I went to bed about 10.30pm and I woke up at 5.30am to go and do my school bus run," Mr Sichter said.

"I made a coffee, went downstairs and noticed my garage door was open and realised my car was gone.

"I ran straight outside and looked up and down the street with the hope that it might have been down the street and someone was playing a joke or something. I mean your head kind of spins at that stage.

"I first thought that I'd left my keys in the car then I realised once I raced back inside that my car keys were on the coffee table because I'm a smoker and my smokes were gone from the coffee table too."

"I rang the police and reported my car stolen at 5.45am. I got a lift to work and the police rang me about 6.50am and said 'mate where are you' and I was at the bus depot getting ready to start work.

"The policeman said 'the good news is we've found your car, the bad news is its been written off'."

| READ IT HERE | Children charged over Parkhurst stolen car crash

Police allege three boys aged 12, 14 and 16 stole the vehicle from Mr Sichter's home before rolling it on Belmont Rd, Parkhurst around 5.45am on Thursday.

The dog squad is searching for a juvenile male who has left the scene of a serious roll over on Belmont Rd, Parkhurst.
The dog squad is searching for a juvenile male who has left the scene of a serious roll over on Belmont Rd, Parkhurst. Chloe Lyons

Unfortunately, due to recently losing his job, Mr Sichter said the vehicle was not insured.

"I've had a bit of a hard time. I lost my job at the mines in July 2015 and have been on unemployment benefits since then," he said.

" finally got a part time school bus driver's job with Youngs which is about 20 hours a week. I've had that for about three months now and that pays about $430 a week.

"I had enough money to pay some bills and buy food but had to let my insurance lapse. My car was uninsured because I didn't have the money to pay for it.

"That's my transport to get to work and back. I don't know what to do. I can't afford to replace it.

"I have just lost a $21,000 car plus the rest. I have worked hard for this stuff all my life. I had never been on Centrelink payments until I lost my job. I'm just down and out. I just don't know which was to turn."

While the three boys were arrested by police on Thursday and are to be dealt with under the Youth Justice Act, Mr Sichter fears the trio will not be punished for their crimes.

He claims one of the boys involved had been arrested 14 times previously.

"My house was all locked. While I was asleep in my house, these teenagers have broken in. They've come into my house. They cut the gauze mesh on my locked screen door, reached through and unlocked the screen door," he said.

"These kids just get away with this stuff. I'm trying to get restitution somehow but I don't know how to do it.

"The problem is the justice system. I spoke to the police and one of these boys has been arrested 14 times before. They just don't care. They go to court then they go to juvenile detention but that's no problem because all their friends are there and it's a laugh and joke.

"They let them out, they have a bit of fun, they even got a free plane trip to Brisbane, they would have loved that.

"I'm just destitute. It's just stupidity. The laws have to change. Something has to change. People just let it go but I don't want to let it go."

Since the two break-ins, Mr Sichter said other juveniles who are friends with the trio had taunted him and made threats.

"Just yesterday I had two kids walk past here when I was out the front trying to clean the car up. I said 'do you know who stole my care?' and they said 'Yeah we do, that's for you to find out you old c***'," he said.

"And then another kid behind them, because I have now borrowed my great niece's car for a week, said 'you can go and get f***ed, we'll steal that car too'.

"I've suffered depression for most of my life and now I am just anxious. I can't even leave my house now because if I do live my house I want to get back home just in case someone breaks into it.

"I'm afraid they'll burn my house down next."

Topics:  car theft crime juvenile crime rockhampton crime



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