A COLAC grandmother says she doesn’t feel safe in the city anymore after brazen thieves targeted her while she slept.
Sue Richards, 66, said she was still “terrified, upset and sick to the stomach” after burglars broke into her home while she was in bed and stole $950 from her wallet and an Essendon Football Club moneybox.
The grandmother of 11, who lives alone and is on a disability pension, said she hadn’t been able to sleep since Thursday morning’s theft and was keeping a shovel beside her bed.
“It absolutely knocked me for six,” Ms Richards said.
“I’m frightened, I live on my own and since then I’ve been staying awake all night and going to bed at seven in the morning because I’m too scared to go to sleep at night,” she said.
“Someone could come in again.”
Ms Richards, who lives in Colac’s inner-west, said she went to bed about 1.30am last Thursday and awoke about 11.30am to find thieves had forced open the back door of her house and stolen the cash.
The avid Bombers supporter said she hadn’t noticed the missing money box, which had a small amount of coins in it, until police asked her to look around to see if anything else was missing.
She said the thieves had left a big-screen television, digital camera and computer which were visible from where they found her wallet.
The burglary is the latest in a summer-long crime spree across Colac and district and Ms Richards, who has lived in Colac for 20 years, said she feared for the city.
“The whole town has gone crazy – other people are in the same boat as me, tools stolen, businesses broken into – the whole town has changed,” Ms Richards said.
“You could feel safe before and I don’t think you can anymore,” she said.
“People need to know what’s happening in the town and to make sure their houses are locked up like Fort Knox.”
Ms Richards, who sells domestic birds and frequently uses Facebook, said “total strangers” had offered “unbelievable support”.
“A lady came the next night and bought me a roast chicken dinner and five huge bags of groceries,” Ms Richards said.
“I’ve also had three total strangers come around and give me money and wish me well,” she said.
“I’m on bird sites and they’ve taken up a collection and are putting money in my bank account and they are all total strangers.
“There are some good people out there as well as the rotten mongrels.”