A spate of burglaries and assaults that presumably target Indian-origin families in Melbourne West have brought together the entire community in a show of support and solidarity. Among all the safety measures being discussed, thanks are being given for the fact that none of the incidents caused a loss of life or serious injury.
They say nothing makes human beings bond better than adversity. In the last few weeks, four separate burglaries and assaults have happened on Indian families in Melbourne West, in the suburbs of Tarneit, Williams Landing, Point Cook and Caroline Springs, where cases of aggravated burglary, assault and car thefts have been reported.
In the first incident, Paresh Parmar was attacked by a bunch of five young black boys outside his Tarneit home. Drawing him out on the pretext of asking for directions to the railway station, the young men assaulted Mr Parmar and made away with his car, taking with them his key bunch, which had keys to his house as well. Mr Parmar reported that the boys returned later at night to break into the house, but by then, Mr Parmar had done the sensible thing and changed his locks.
In the second incident, a group of black teenagers broke into the house of Williams Landing resident Ritesh Chauhan. After threatening Mr Chauhan with harm if he ‘didn’t cooperate’, the gang strolled through the house, picked up an iPad, some mobile phones, and drove off in Mr Chauhan’s car.
The most recent incident involved the breaking in and stealing of two cars and a mobile phone by a group of black teenagers in Caroline Springs. This time the victim is Richa Walia, a restaurant owner, who was at home with her parents and 16-year-old brother when the bandits entered and made away with a Honda CRV and a Civic. The modus operandi remained the same: the group threatened the family with violence if they didn’t cooperate, and asked for the keys of the cars.
The silver lining is that none of these incidents have resulted in any serious bodily harm to anyone, but the community is not waiting until it happens before it takes action. Several safety meetings have been conducted to address the issue, and the residents have started an online petition to campaign for round the clock police stations in the area and also increased police surveillance so that they can respond to distress calls more quickly.
Here’s hoping that the crime woes of Melbourne West’s Indian community can be put to rest with these measures.