AN ELDERLY woman living alone in her Pakenham retirement unit was the latest victim targeted in the home invasion crisis.
Security bolts and chains have been fixed to the 80-year-old woman’s back door in an attempt to help soothe the “very shaken” resident as she overcomes the traumatic intrusion.
Evergreen Retirement Village manager Annie Roberts said the same sort of security has already been applied to a number of the 76 residential units as they respond to increased levels of crime, which she attributes to a neighbouring under-construction retirement village.
The intruder is thought to have accessed the elderly woman’s property by jumping her fence which borders the under-construction Main Street Village development.
Ms Roberts claimed the neighbouring site has experienced crime issues including break-ins during construction.
She believes it is now under the watch of security personnel.
The 80-year-old was alone in her unit when she found the male intruder in her lounge room, about 8am on Friday 22 July.
Police said the elderly woman screamed, causing the offender to flee by jumping the rear fence and taking off on foot.
He accessed her unit via an unlocked garage door that led to an internal door that was also unlocked.
Police have described the offender as Caucasian, aged in his twenties, brownish coloured hair, medium build, 180cm tall, wearing a dark coloured zip-up jacket.
Ms Roberts said the elderly woman had not accessed counselling since the intrusion, but was “very shaken”.
“We have had bolts put on all the doors and in the process of changing the security door at the back of her home. He came from the garden into the garage which she normal keeps locked,” she said.
She stressed it was a “random act” and that residents were very safe and the village surveilled by six closed-circuit security cameras.
However, it’s not the only criminal incident to strike the retirement village community.
Ms Roberts confirmed a car had been stolen from within the village some months ago.
She hopes it will all end once the construction of Main Street Village is completed.
“Once it has been built. This will stop. At the moment, it’s a building site. Anyone can walk in and jump the fence,” she said, claiming the under-construction premise has “regularly” been targeted by offenders.
Evergreen Retirement Village shares a driveway with McGregor Gardens Aged Care.
It houses respite, dementia and high care patients within its 90-bed facility.
Police in the region are patrolling high-risk crime areas day and night to drive down the rate of aggravated burglaries and car-jackings in the outer south-east.
Youth crime demands have resulted in the formation of specialised taskforces and a statewide summit to tackle the issue.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.