16 February 2011

Heartless Goodna thieves load antiques into ute

A TRAUMATISED Goodna woman is trying to come to terms with her loss after thieves posing as flood clean-up volunteers stole and damaged her priceless possessions.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, says she is only now finding the courage to speak publicly about the despicable "seek and destroy" actions of the thieves.

The 34-year-old said on January 16, she began sifting through what was left of her flooded family home.

She said in an act of good faith her family accepted the help of two volunteers, but before they knew it the house was "swarming" with 25-30 out-of-control strangers.

The suspect volunteers rifled through the woman's home, going into bedrooms and searching through personal goods before taking them out of the house – and out of her sight.

"I was yelling for them not to go into my room, but no one was listening to me," she said.

The distressed woman's suspicions grew and she began realising the over-eager volunteers were not as they seemed.

"I did not really get a chance to see what exactly was being taken as there were too many people around and a lot of my items were being immediately loaded into a waiting ute," she said.

Along with the many antiques and collectables stolen from the woman's house was a family portrait more than a century old.

She said the portrait was brought from England in the mid-1900s and held significant sentimental value as it was the only photo of her grandmother.

Other stolen items included an antique dressmaker mannequin, collectable dolls and a 60-year-old jewellery set adding up to thousands of dollars.

The baffled woman believes the theft was premeditated after overhearing one of the thieves refer to her home as "the house with the antiques".

It is not the first time thieves have taken advantage of flood victims, with 81 people charged with crimes during Queensland's flood disaster.

Detective Inspector Mick Niland said police were investigating the Goodna woman's theft.

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