Stawell residents voice anger over petty criminals

Members of the Stawell community have voiced their anger over the town’s latest string of petty crime incidents.

The Stawell Masonic Lodge on Skene Street was forced to pay for repairs after three windows were found broken on Wednesday, September 6.

A similar incident occurred at Perrys Footwear on the night of Friday, September 8 where the owner of the premises discovered a broken window at the rear of the store the next morning. 

It is unknown if the incidents were related. 

Stawell Masonic Lodge secretary Neil Thornton said he was disappointed in the lack of respect for property. 

“The lodge is not a very wealthy lodge, so every dollar matters when we have to fix this damage,” he said. 

“Freemasons Victoria have been here for 150 years and have done so much for the community while here, it’s a shame this has happened.

“It is just a lack of respect- obviously people have got nothing better to do then to run around the streets.”

Perrys Footwear owner Janita Perry said she went to open the store on Saturday morning when she noticed the damage on her premises. 

“There was a broken window at the rear of the property, which would have definitely happened on the Friday night,” she said. 

“We know of other incidents in town so I don’t think this is an isolated attack- we weren't targeted.”

Ms Perry said she believed the incident was a random act of stupidity. 

“It is just frustrating because we are just trying to run a business and then someone comes along and does this,” she said.

Anyone who knows any information or may have witnessed the crimes should contact Stawell Police Station on 5358 8222 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Latest crime figures showed incidents of property damage were decreasing at Stawell. 

Crime Statistics Agency recorded 90 offences for the year ending March 2017, compared to 124 in 2016.