HEARTACHE and despair gripped Emma-Louise Green yesterday morning when she discovered the theft and torching of her beloved Manhattan scooter.
The West Albury phone systems saleswoman is the latest victim of a series of similar crimes on the
Border over the past week.
For Miss Green the $3000 uninsured scooter was the only way she could lead a normal life, because of a back injury she suffered in her previous job.
“I can walk down hill OK but I can’t get myself back up the hill — my back just screams in pain.”
The incident was one of two yesterday — the NSW Rural Fire Service was called to a fire on Nail Can Hill at 7.35am in which a stolen car had been set alight.
Albury Inspector John Wadsworth slammed the behaviour of joyriders for the emotional pain they inflicted on their victims.
“There’s no joy in these rides,” he said.
“The people who own these vehicles are usually battlers. The people who steal it — if only they could see the heartache they cause to decent people.”
Miss Green, 22, said she discovered her scooter missing from outside her Hill Street unit about 8.10am; she had gotten up early to get ready for a doctor’s appointment.
She reported the theft to Albury police.
“I talked to a constable and he said there had been two bikes or cars reported to be on fire this morning within the last two hours,” she said.
The police took her registration details, then called back soon afterwards to confirm her scooter had been set ablaze.
Miss Green’s scooter had been torched just a stone’s throw from her home.
When she initially walked outside yesterday, the smell of smoke made her think someone had lit a bonfire the night before.
She asked her flatmate if he had smelt anything — he hadn’t, but he did see smoke coming over the back fence.
“We went out and had a look down the alleyway next to our property” she said.
The shock of what happened was overwhelming.
“I thought ‘OK if you want to steal it, steal it but if you can’t ride it give it back, don’t set it alight 20 feet from my house’,” she said.
“I broke down in tears — it’s not insured, I can’t afford a new bike.
“I’ve got back problems so I can’t be running up and down the hill three or four times a day to go to work and do other things.
“I’m just distraught.”
Miss Green said her neighbours had been broken into twice recently.
“We’re always wary of strangers down in our little area,” she said.
“But nobody saw anything, it was too early in the morning.”
Also lost in the blaze
was a pair of $200 weatherproof pants in the scooter’s seat.
Miss Green has got a smaller bike at her mother’s house that needs a few bits and pieces put together on it but she also has to find another $500 to have it
Emma-Louise Green with the remains of her scooter, which was dumped then set on fire in a laneway next to her West Albury home. Picture: DAVID THORPE
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