Blackwater Sports owner Vere Storch celebrated 20 years of business on Friday. Photo Meghan Kidd / Blackwater Herald
Blackwater Sports owner Vere Storch celebrated 20 years of business on Friday. Photo Meghan Kidd / Blackwater Herald

‘Mentally it’s destroying’ Crime pushes woman into retirement

WHEN Blackwater Sports shop owner Vere Storch says victims are paying for the town's crime she speaks from experience.

Her store has been broken into four times and the latest incident alone cost $20,000.

"Crime in Blackwater has gone through the roof," Mrs Storch said.

She said the store gets broken into so frequently her insurance has refused to cover her.

"I couldn't claim the last incident or they would cancel my insurance," she said.

The store was ram raided on September 14 - the front doors were smashed and significant amounts of stock was stolen.

"This time round it has affected me so badly," she said

"I'm just waiting for another call from the alarm company saying someone is in the shop."

The incidents have not only left her angry and shaken, they've pushed her into retirement.

"There's no justice for victims of crime - mentally it's destroying, physically it's the same," she said.

She plans to sell both her Blackwater Sports shop and Plaza Sports store in Emerald.

"Why should I have to wear the damage bill and the theft and these kids get off scot-free?," she said.

She's lived in the town for about 38 years but crime was making it almost unrecognisable. "The township has had an absolute gutful," she said.

"Years ago you never locked your house up but now you have to nail everything down and lock everything."

She said crime would continue to get worse unless laws changed.

"Nothing happens to these kids and adults breaking the law," she said.

"There is no retribution for what they do."

"Everything is against the victim and there is no consequences for the offenders."

Youth who were caught breaking the law were only held in custody for two hours, according to Mrs Storch.

"Let's see something done to teach them there is a consequence," she said.

"I want to see the magistrates cop a bit of what everyone has been copping from these people."

She said criminals weren't scared of the consequences because there was none.