John Raatz has been burgled after suffering through the flood in January and having his sheep and chickens slaughtered by wild dogs.
John Raatz has been burgled after suffering through the flood in January and having his sheep and chickens slaughtered by wild dogs. Rob Williams

Theft another blow for flood victim

JUST when Ipswich flood victim John Raatz thought things couldn’t get any worse, he received a swift kick in the guts at the hands of thieves.

Still upset about gruesome dog attacks on his sheep, chickens and pigeons in recent months, the 65-year-old retired police officer returned to his home on Sunday morning to find it had been ransacked.

His 53-inch television, brand-new air-compressor, police cap and jacket, replica Ned Kelly firearm and his wife Joy’s jewellery were gone.

The thieves had jemmied open a downstairs door at the back of the house, loading a car with Mr Raatz and his wife’s property some time late on Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Although repairs to the flood damaged, two-storey home are still waiting on Mr Raatz’s insurer, he had received a payout for the contents, which he used to purchase some of the property stolen at the weekend – namely the $700 air compressor, which still hadn’t been taken out of the box.

A distraught Mr Raatz said he believed the thieves were chasing money for drugs.

“Nothing else could explain this,” he said.

“Everything has been emptied out of the drawers – the kind of low life people who do this always seem to want to kick you in the guts when you are down.”

Mr Raatz said he suspected other items had been taken, but he hadn’t had the chance to check the total cost yet.

Disturbingly, the thieves made an obvious attempt to break into the gun safe.

Thankfully they barely budged the steel box, which is protected by several bolts.

Police have been to the home to take fingerprints and search for other clues.

Due to the extent of flooding which hit the area in January, very few residents have moved back into their homes, which means police could have their work cut out trying to find anyone who saw anything suspicious over the weekend.

While Mr Raatz returns to his North Station Rd property every day to tend to his farm, he said there was no way he could protect it from thieves all the time.

“It’s still a bit of a ghost town around here,” he said.

Anyone with information that could assist police should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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