Tim and Kate Lebner’s property on Cobram-Koonoomoo Rd was burgled early on the Saturday morning of the Queen’s Birthday weekend, with the family only discovering the crime a couple of hours later.
A man, believed to be on a three-day bender on the drug ice, broke into their reinforced and locked industrial-sized shipping container on their block, which contained a number of tools and equipment used on their farm and its crop.
Mrs Lebner said her husband had gone out to the property about 8am on the Saturday morning, when he discovered the doors to their shipping container open, and thousands of dollars worth of property and tools gone, including a generator, chainsaw, fire pump, UHF radios, a container of fuel, a block splitter, plus a number of other tools and assorted camping gear equipment.
He called the Cobram Police Station, which was unattended and left a message, before Mrs Lebner suggested to call Wangaratta, who were on scene by about 1pm.
The offender is alleged to have come and gone from the shipping container several times in a three-hour period overnight.
‘‘I think they just knew there were no police around, especially on a long weekend,’’ Mrs Lebner said.
‘‘They knew they’d have all the time they needed on their hands.’’
The burglary has left the family bitterly disappointed.
‘‘We try to teach the kids to work hard to achieve your goals, but then something like this happens,’’ Mrs Lebner said.
‘‘It was concerning for the kids, we had to explain what happened and that he’d been caught and was in jail.
‘‘One of the most disappointing things is they’d taken Max’s tackle box — he’d bought it with his birthday money.
‘‘All of the stuff is replaceable and it’s insured, it’s just really frustrating, especially that it’s taken away so much time from us.’’
Mrs Lebner said they stored the equipment in the shipping container needed to work on the farm while they still lived in town, to save taking it out there almost daily.
Since then, they’ve had to find an alternative solution while they get a security system put in place.
Mrs Lebner said they were warning people to be really vigilant, with burglaries and break-ins seeming to become more frequent.
‘‘If you see anything suspicious, take note of the car or any details you can,’’ she said.
‘‘We also put it on Facebook and the amount of support we received was fantastic.
‘‘It also helped us with the investigation, with some new evidence coming forward.’’
She said she was really grateful to the community for their support following the incident.
‘‘They’re really restored our faith, and it’s really wonderful to be in a community like this,’’ she said.
‘‘Every person has offered to help in any way they can.’’