As our members know, over the past 4 months Leongatha Golf Club, along with most South Gippsland Golf Clubs and some small businesses, have been at the mercy of an artful miscreant who had repeatedly broken into our clubs at night. The three burglaries on our Clubhouse caused lots of distress and unnecessary costs in repairing the extensive damage, usually to points of entry and our storeroom, where an old large safe sat as a temptation this offender could not pass up.
After the second break-in, the Board approved expenditure for a new security system to replace the existing Arlo brand wireless video system which the burglar had no trouble circumventing. The Club committed to a local company to instal an improved security system once their stock was available.
On Thursday the 26th March, the offender again broke into the Clubrooms for the third time. This was the week the Board closed the Course in order to be on the front foot against COVID-19. The Board was concentrating on the likely financial ramification to the Club, our likely future and the staff welfare, so the last thing we needed was another break-in. Despite our best efforts, the new security system had not been installed as materials had not arrived. Again the burglar/s efforts were focussed on getting into the main safe, again they failed. If only the offender/s knew we had nothing of value in the safe. To add insult to injury this time, the burglar/s stole our Arlo video security system, including two portable wifi cameras.
Each of these break-ins were reported to our local Police and duly processed by the Scenes of Crime officer, who seemed meticulous in her search for evidence. The offender/s were a headache for everyone in South Gippsland and we understood the Region Crime Squads within Gippsland, were working tirelessly within their limited resources, to put an end to the crime spree.
In golfing vernacular, if this was a matchplay event, the burglars were three holes up- so it was a stroke of good fortune, that our Club was able to chip in and help bring the crime spree to an end. How you may ask. It was indeed, a shot to remember.
On Friday the 3rd of April the Club received an email from the stolen Arlo Security system which read: “It looks like your Arlo 4XH5777___776 is running low on battery. You still have 15% of battery power left, but in order to maintain uninterrupted peace of mind, we recommend charging the device as soon as possible Thanks, The Arlo Team”. We checked the date to ensure it wasn’t the 1st of April. How could this email be generated? – the only answer was the offender, or a receiver of the stolen Arlo system, had actually set up the stolen Arlo system and turned it on. A stroke of exceptional good luck for us, perhaps.
Curiosity got the better of us at the Club and we logged into the Arlo App and to our surprise, found that there were a number of video files stored in the Arlo library, the most recent video having been taken on Friday the 3rd of April at 9.15am. That was only half an hour before we logged into the App. When we opened the video what do you think we saw? Click here to find out what we saw.
That’s correct, we were watching Victoria Police officers searching an address. We don’t know who they were or where they were but we knew someone who could find out, so Thommo (one a scratch golfer and the other a local acting Sergeant) soon alerted the Regional Crime Squad officers who were searching an address in Welshpool, of our video find. The officers returned to the room, and with some guidance from our Club, soon located the stolen Arlo cameras and video system, along with some other stolen items from LGC. A man from Welshpool was later charged at Wonthaggi Police station with various offences, and remanded in custody.
Well done to all of those Police Officers, including the Regional Crime Squads and Scene of Crimes Unit for their diligence in pursuit of these offenders.
That much maligned Arlo video security system came shining through for us in the end, and as the great Sgt Dudley Do-Right would utter, “All’s well that ends well”. As they say in pennant, no matter how many holes you are down, never give up. In this instance, we can say game over, the score LGC 1 up.
If you are reading this on our Facebook page, or Twitter, please share or retweet, as we want everyone to know – there’s nothing in the safe worth stealing.
Keep safe, and see you when Leongatha Golf Club is again open for play.