The burnt-out car sits in the park, black soot licking up the sides of the doors and bonnet in the same patterns the flames did just hours before.
Another weekend, another burned out car in Orange.
Virginia Green said she was “gutted” as she stood in Cootes Park on Sunday, looking at the wreckage of her car.
It was stolen some time on Saturday night, [police info]
When police broke the news to Ms Green at 3.45am on Sunday, it was the fourth car this month and the second this weekend they’ve found burned-out vehicles.
The theft is the second time her family has had a vehicle stolen and torched from their Margaret Street home of 13 years in a month, with a tractor burned out four weeks ago.
You think ‘it won’t happen to me, it won’t happen to me’, and then it does happen to me and you think ‘shit’.Virginia Green
The house – which she lives in with her brothers – has been occupied by the Greens for 13 years, but for the first time Ms Green is questioning the safety of the area.
“From what I believe it was always a safe, quiet street,” she said.
“A lot of elderly people used to live along it but it only seems this past year it’s increased.
“My neighbour, he’s been broken into and installed security cameras and a security fence which makes the area look a bit scarier.”
She said it was “debilitating”, and a slap in the face to how hard she’d worked since finishing her degree in January.
“That was my first real nice car that I’d brought and I know it’s materialistic in saying that, but the sentimental value of the car was something I was working towards,” she said.
“Why do you get these nice things or buy these nice things when people come and destroy it?”
Ms Green said her family gone were the days when the barking of their dog – a staffy cross mastiff – was enough to deter would-be criminals, and they were considering installing more security.
“I’m starting to question a lot of things, it’s not as safe an area as I thought it was,” she said.
“A lot more of the town is getting a lot more security, when I was a kid you could ride your bike around town, kids could just be kids but now it seems that everyone has an attitude problem and they’re seeing it’s a bit of fun to destroy other people’s lives.
Ms Green isn’t holding police to blame for the rise in crime, and said they’d handled her car’s burning as well as they could have, but was at a loss as to how Orange could overcome the problem of rising crime rates.
While she won’t “become a hermit”, she feels more cautious around the city.
“You think ‘it won’t happen to me, it won’t happen to me’, and then it does happen to me and you think ‘shit’,” Ms Green said.
If you know anything about crime in Orange, contact Central West Police District on 6363 6399 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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