Sergeant Mick Ward is urging people to secure their homes after a spate of break-ins.
Sergeant Mick Ward is urging people to secure their homes after a spate of break-ins. Scottie Simmonds

Lock up your doors

BUNDABERG police are urging residents to lock their doors following a spate of break-ins across the region.

The pleas follow a particularly distressing burglary in the early hours of yesterday morning that left a Korean backpacker in hospital.

The tourist was left with a cut just about the eyebrow and other injuries to his head after he awoke to find an intruder in his Targo St bedroom just before 3am.

The thief, who entered the home by forcing open a door, had been going from bedroom to bedroom taking wallets, laptops and iPods while the occupants slept.

When the backpacker awoke, the man was startled and punched him in the head before running away.

Another man who lived downstairs chased the crook, but he got away.

Police said the thief was described as about 188cm tall with curly, dark hair.

The Targo St man who chased the thief declined to be named, but told the NewsMail he was disgusted someone would target backpackers.

"You hear about it happening all the time in Bundaberg," he said.

"The backpackers are targets because they always have laptops and iPods, which are easy to carry and to sell."

The man said he knew rumours had spread far about how dangerous it could be in Bundaberg for backpacking visitors.

He said the Korean man and his partner had plans to stay in the city long term, but he was yet to speak to them after the break-in.

"He was okay, but shocked and upset," he said.

The man said the backpacker spent most of yesterday in hospital.

The incident is just one of a string of burglaries that have led police to urge the community to be vigilant with locking doors and windows.

Bundaberg CIB officer in charge Senior Sergeant Joe Hildred said two cars were also broken into at a home on Phoebe Cr, Kensington, on Thursday night and stereo equipment stolen.

Snr Sgt Hildred said an unknown vehicle had been seen in the area.

Between December 30 and January 3, there were also seven break-ins in the Kepnock area and, prior to that, a series of "sneak offences" in Avenell Heights while occupants slept.

Bundaberg police district crime prevention co-ordinator Senior Constable Janet Lindsay said items taken in those thefts included wallets, money, mp3 players, laptops, a TV - and, in one instance, a car.

"Many of these offences have involved unlocked or unsecured doors and windows that the offender has taken advantage of, which is why we are urging people to make sure their properties are secure," she said.

"Each member of the community can help prevent this from occurring."

As a part of an effort to prevent further break-ins, police will run two "meet police in the parks" events to give residents advice and a home security check list.

The meetings will take place at Berghofer Park, in Clive Cr, and Boreham Park, in Avenell St, from 4-6pm on January 16.

Anyone with information on the recent crimes can call police on 4153 9111.

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