A brazen would-be burglar was caught on camera casing out an Officer estate before he purportedly targeted one family home and attempted to break in during the dead of night.
Arcadia Estate resident Drayton, surname withheld, was fast asleep at 2am on Monday morning, 10 August, when an unwanted guest was lurking outside.
When he checked his phone in the morning, a notification alerted Drayton to movement out the front of his property just hours before.
“This surprised me as we are all under strict lockdown with the curfew, so I didn’t expect any sort of trigger,” he recalled.
“Only when reviewing the footage did I notice the individual attempting to break in … I then also noticed that they had made a few earlier visits to the lane to case out the area.”
Drayton said it was a relief the bungled burglar couldn’t gain access to his house, and added that it was lucky there was no attempts to break into the family car.
“It was very surreal to watch someone trying to get into your house, where a lot of us would feel is our own sanctuary,” he said.
“It’s a shame that this is still happening during the current pandemic. You would think that people would be more caring because of the current climate, but people are taking advantage of the curfew and reduced movement at night.”
With a toddler in tow, Drayton said his first instinct was to take further precautions to ensure the house was completely secure.
The matter was immediately reported to the Victoria Police assistance line.
“Unfortunately, the person on the line advised that since it was an ‘attempt’ and the person did not actually break into the house, there was little they could do,” he explained.
The incident follows a string of similar attempted break ins and thefts throughout the estate – including a family on Flanagan Avenue who reportedly had their car broken into on the same morning.
“A few other people mentioned online that their cars had been broken into on the same night and also shared footage … You could see that it was the same guy trying his luck in multiple places,” Drayton said.
“Some people did not have any incidents, but caught the individual on the security cameras casually walking away with the stolen items.”
The only positive thing to come from the experience was the support from the estate’s community, Drayton said, with talks now brewing about the formation of a Neighbourhood Watch.
“Arcadia is a large estate and is densely populated. It’s also a growing suburb, with some houses staying unoccupied while people slowly move in or try to rent out,” he said.
“This makes some houses easy targets, which then makes the surrounding houses at risk as well.”