‘Confronting’: Coffs family slept during break-in
WHEN Marius Eden left South Africa 17 years ago, he thought he was leaving behind a life of locks, alarms and armed response teams, but a series of incidents has brought it all back.
Over the course of the last two weeks, his home on Bruxner Park Road has been robbed on three separate occasions and the ordeal has left the family fearing there is more to come.
What started out with what Mr Eden assumed was "a few kids" rummaging through his car quickly developed into something more sinister when just days later the bottom level of his house was turned over.
While he and his 15-year-old son were sleeping upstairs.
Gaining access to the house through a window in the garage, Mr Eden said the perpetrators went through drawers and cupboards in the study, helping themselves to alcohol, his son's mountain bike and a Rolex watch.
The watch had been given to him by his late father and Mr Eden said it had significant sentimental value, as did some of the bottles of liquor which had been gifted to him by various people, including the Venezuelan Ambassador.
Coming back for a third time two days ago, the robbers then stole his car using a spare key they had pinched from the study.
"It is very, very confronting, because that wasn't a two minute job," he said.
"They are in your house while you are asleep and you don't know what they are capable of doing.
"They had to be very brazen to open that internal door and they went through drawers and pulled out files … they knew what they were doing."
The family have now engaged security experts in an effort to prevent it happening again, especially given the garage door key had also been taken.
Clearly hurt and frustrated by the ordeal, Mr Eden said going through the process of securing his house all over again, in a country he became a citizen of in 2007, was just "rubbish".
"We come from South Africa and we are used to alarms and armed response and here you come to a beautiful country (like Australia) … and you don't expect this to happen,"
While Bruxner Park Road was traditionally thought of as a quiet street with picturesque views, Mr Eden said its remote location with no street lights made it a target for well organised criminals.
His message was that people needed to think hard about how they secured their homes, especially in rural and remote settings.
"Don't just think it won't happen to you, it can happen to you.
"If you see how long the driveway is to my house, you can see how brazen these guys were. There is no getaway car next to them. They were professionals."