Thief says he's with the police

Tourist Kim Cooper is urging visitors to be security-conscious.
Tourist Kim Cooper is urging visitors to be security-conscious. Alistair Brightman

A FRIGHTENED tourist has urged fellow holiday-makers to take extra care with their belongings after being woken in the night by experienced thieves.

In the early hours of yesterday morning, Sydney's Kim Cooper and her husband were woken in their van at an Esplanade caravan park by a man shining a torch into their eyes and fumbling with the door.

Disturbingly, the well-practiced offender was masquerading as a police officer.

"I could hear something so I called out and a man answered shining a torch in our eyes and said: 'We're from the Hervey Bay Police Station doing security checks - do you want me to close this door?'," Mrs Cooper said.

"I thought 'it wasn't open' but by the time we were awake enough to realise what was going on they were long gone and they had taken our computer."

Yesterday, the retirees were still shaken by the robbery and while they were well aware there was little chance of the thief who broke into their van being caught, Mrs Cooper hoped a reminder would prevent other visitors from leaving the Fraser Coast with a bad taste in their mouths. A young family staying on the site next to them packed up early yesterday morning because they didn't feel comfortable.

"We love coming here and it is such a shame for tourists who have worked hard and saved money to go on a holiday to have something like this happen," Mrs Cooper said.

"It spoils it. The problem is Hervey Bay is well-known for it now. You talk to people in Sydney who have been here and they say: 'We should have warned you'."

The break-in was one in a string of petty crimes at Esplanade caravan parks on Wednesday night.

Hervey Bay police Sergeant Dave Dansie said officers would never enter a van without knocking first and urged the community to always check for identification.

One suspect is described as being a male wearing a long trench coat.

Anyone with information can phone Crimestoppers on 1800333000.

Topics:  theft tourists

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