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In debt and carless, woman turns her back on Canberra

Leanne Burrows, with her first car that was damaged by vandals in January.

Leanne Burrows, with her first car that was damaged by vandals in January. Photo: Elesa Lee

Leanne Burrows had only just got a new car after her old one was written off by vandals, when misfortune struck again.

The Calwell woman is now left with thousands of dollars of debt, and is is packing her bags for a new city.  

Ms Burrows moved to the Canberra suburb of Calwell less than a year ago and has since lost two cars to theft and vandalism within three months.

The first was damaged when offenders “went on a rampage and rolled cars” in mid-January. 

Then, just weeks ago, her replacement vehicle was stolen and written off on April 23.

“In three months I had two cars written off, two open police investigations and $7000 in debt with nothing to show for it,” the 42 year old said.

“I don’t want to buy another car now because I’m paranoid.”

Ms Burrows said despite having her second car insured, she only received $30, bringing the total cash back for the two wrecks to just $70.

“My first car wasn’t insured and even if it was, it wouldn’t be covered under fire or theft because it was just vandalism,” she said.

“I’m very unimpressed. I think it’s the worst place to live.”

Ms Burrows is now moving back to Melbourne, where she previously lived.

“I came here to make a new [life] and now I’m going backwards,” she said.

“I move back to Melbourne in three weeks. And if anyone ever said they were moving here, I’d tell them ‘no’.”

ACT Policing described the spate of vandalism during January as “mindless acts of property damage”, after four cars were flipped on their roofs throughout Calwell, Monash and Gilmore.

5 comments so far

  • At least you have real and varied motorsport in Melbourne, good luck to you girl.

    Date and time
    May 09, 2013, 6:57PM
    • It's not Canberra as a whole, I lived in Calwell when I first came to Canberra from Sydney, the area was ok ten years ago but some parts have gone downhill since, my new 50k Landcruiser at the time was parked on the driveway and eggs thrown at it assuming from kids who didn't care or jelious I had a new car and it wasn't a sick commodore or falcon. little punks have grown up and can now get around in their crappy commodores and cause damage because they are so bored.

      I'm in Canberra still but away from that area and it's normal like nice Melbourne or Sydney suburb.

      Date and time
      May 09, 2013, 9:16PM
      • This is what happens when the courts are so easy on crime. If they were caught, they'd be slapped on the hand. I also wouldn't be surprised if it was somehow drug related, and God knows, the police in the ACT have no interest in enforcing the drug laws with any kind of proactive stance.

        Date and time
        May 10, 2013, 8:20AM
        • I hate to say this, but this demonstrates the complete failure of "community" policing in the ACT.
          I have had occassional cause to contact ACT police, and it is not unusual to be told that no-one is available, as there are simply not enough staff rostered on. Like to make a statement? We'll see you in 3 or 4 days - maybe.
          The hard truth is that Canberra is under-policed. One only has to drive around the roads to see that anyone can do pretty much anything they want, and there is practically zero chance of being apprehended. Run red lights while on the mobile phone? No worries, you can do it all day every day here with impunity. Slow down for speed cameras, then speed up to 20 or 30 over the limit? Feel free, everyone else seems to be doing it too. Don't feel like using your indicator? Couldn't give a damn you have no brake lights whatsoever? No problem, come to the ACT and you will never have to be responsible for any of it.
          And this is just the roads. Extrapolate this lack of policing to other areas and nothing changes, you can do what you like when you like in the ACT and chances are you'll never be called to account for your actions.
          Bobbies on the beat, you simply can't beat it. Give 'em a pushbike and a patch to patrol. Cops in cars isn't the same.

          Date and time
          May 10, 2013, 10:48AM
          • No need to bash Canberra as a decent place to live, as it says in the article there's been a spate of vandalism in that area recently. Not acceptable I agree, but no need to tarr all of Canberra with the same brush!

            Date and time
            May 10, 2013, 11:58AM

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