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Synthethic turf sized up and pinched in Ellenbrook

Ellenbrook residents are being asked to keep a watchful eye out for neighbours sporting new synthetic turf after thieves carved up sections of the Ellebrook Sports Hub, twice in the past four weeks.

The first theft left a 3m by 3m hole in the turf and two weeks later the thieves returned to cut  a smaller piece,  that was about 2.5m by 2.5m  and also carefully measured to size.

The Ellenbrook Sports Hub’s FIFA accredited synthetic playing fields are the largest in the City of Swan and in the state.

The city officially celebrated the opening of the sports facility with a community fair and fireworks in September last year.

This month the city has upped-the-ante on its street patrols and installed more CCTV cameras.

A spokesperson told Echo News to date there has been no more thefts.

Ellenbrook Ward councillor Cate McCullough said the time and effort by the thieves to cut out the turf was nonsensical.

“Lifting that turf would have taken over an hour,” she said.

“It’s unbelieveable, it would have taken them far less time and effort to just pop down to Bunnings  and grab a few cheap squares of turf, purpose built for a backyard.”

Instead they took a chunk of synthetic lawn that is not suitable for a backyard, she said.

“It’s not dense enough

and it has small bits of recycled rubber in it because it’s made to be a playing surface.”

Councillor McCullough said the city wanted the community’s help to catch those responsible.

“These types of crimes affect everyone in the community, so I am hoping residents can get behind us in our effort to find the offenders,” she said.

“We are asking residents to keep an eye out for any new artificial turf popping up in the neighbourhood and report any suspicious activity to the city or police.”

City of Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright said the thefts were unacceptable and they were being taken very seriously.

He said the city would continue to work with police to find those responsible.

Ellenbrook Police Station officer-in-charge Wal Brierley said it was not a common crime and anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Senior Sergeant Brierley said in the past 12 months there had been a downward trend in burglaries in Ellenbrook but there had been a noticeable spike in motor vehicle thefts.

Simply because people continued to leave valuables in their car in plain sight.

Sen Sergeant Brierley said police always moved to target crime spikes with additional resources, and this included more police patrols, which in this case brought the number of car thefts down.

“We have put additional resources in that area with noticeable success and hopefully we’ll have that resolved ASAP.”

He said working together with other agencies helped the police’s long-term goal of reducing crime, which could never be completely eliminated.

“It’s about bringing others to the table to do their bit and together the aim is to remove the opportunity, or the need in some instances, to commit crime.”

Sen Sergeant Brierley said overall Ellenbrook had great amenities, was a fantastic place to live and despite a significant population increase projected for the area he expected crime statistics to remain stable.

He also said in the past 12 months Ellenbrook police had been helped by other policing teams and together they had made significant inroads.

He said overall, the offences of burglaries and stolen motor vehicles had been on a downward trend for at least 12 months, despite the recent spike in car thefts.

“There will be spikes in crime  from time to time but overall we are doing very well.”

About Rashelle Predovnik

Rashelle has been the senior journalist at Echo News since June 2011. She was a finalist in the WA Media Awards in 2015 and 2013. In 2014 Rashelle took out the whole print category in the Deborah Kirwan Media Awards for a series of stories she wrote that has positively influenced community attitudes towards seniors. In 2013, Rashelle was a finalist in the Consumer Protection Media Awards. Before joining Echo News, Rashelle worked at WA Business News, Media Monitors, she was a freelance journalist and taught journalism units at Murdoch University.

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