11 August 2015

Page 5

NEWS DESK

Raid nets plaque and files Stephen Taylor steve@mpnews.com.au

Home sweet home: Microbat home makers Trinity, Ollie, Floyd, Tarek, Seb, Flynn, Kira, Emily and Charlie with Mornington Men’s Shed members Bertil, Gary, Tony, Phil and Sean.

A home among the gums trees REAL Time Learning students at Mt Eliza Secondary College have been working with Mornington Men’s Shed members to build homes for microbats. Teacher Narelle Debenham said microbats –hibernating for winter – were an important part of the ecosystem. The bat range from being about the size of a 10 cent coin to that of a small mouse. Microbats eat pest insects, including lawn grub moths, weevils, beetles, midges, flying termites and mosquitos. But competition from birds, possums and gliders, along with the clearing of many old trees, has meant

their habitat is scarce. Eleven year 7 students joined five shed members to make roosting boxes. Three will be placed in tall native trees along the Balcombe Creek trail running parallel with Century Drive, Mt Martha, one will be on a Landcare property owned by environmental naturalist Tony O'Connor, and another in the school grounds. They will all be in place for the bat breeding season in the spring. To help injured wildlife call AWARE wildlife rescue, 0412 433 727. A pattern for bat nesting boxes is at backyard buddies.net.au/for-mammals or email ndebenham@mesc.vic. edu.au

A COMMEMORATIVE plaque awarded by Victoria Police to a Mt Martha man for helping with the 1988 Ty-Eyre Task Force was stolen in an overnight raid on Sunday 2 August. The task force had been set up to investigate the ambush and shooting deaths of Steven Tynan and Damian Eyre in South Yarra in October of that year – an investigation that, at its height, involved hundreds of officers. The 25cm plaque was one of many items stolen, including personal and business papers, bank PINs and statements, keepsakes including the man’s first tax return from 1950, cards and mementoes of his 40 years at the National Australia Bank where he rose to be deputy chief executive, his wife’s medical files, and personal and financial details of the estates of family members. Lloyd Smith, 84, said he and his wife, slept through the 3am raid and heard nothing. Mornington police believe the thieves broke into the garage of the house in Glynt Gardens estate, off Bay Rd, where they also stole golf clubs, electrical tools, $40 in coins, garage door remote control, and torch. Entering through the laundry and into the kitchen with a plastic container they rifled the man’s wallet and his wife’s purse stealing cash and credit cards and two mobile phones. In the home office they ransacked draws and cupboards stealing an inscribed briefcase, laptop and the copious state-

Personal value: The Ty-Eyre plaque stolen in the raid was awarded to Lloyd Smith for helping police investigate the brutal slaying of two young constables.

CCTV image: A photo of a man police wish to speak to over the attempted break-ins

ments and files – as well as body corporate records for the other properties in the estate. Also taken were the military records of four uncles who served in World War I about whom the man is writing a family history. Mr Smith, who has lived in Mt Martha for 23 years, said he believed the burglars had earlier been unable to break in to his neighbour’s house with a jemmy bar. “They must have walked around her place because two side gates were open and when they failed there they came to us,� he said. “It was a windy night and we didn’t hear a thing. Next morning I saw papers strewn around the floor and couldn’t work it out. I thought, ‘That’s strange,’ and then realised what had happened.

“They seemed to have scooped up everything they could get their hands on with the thought of possibly going through it all later.� Mr Smith said he felt “almost stateless now� and had spent the past week changing security numbers, passwords and locks. On the same night, burglars attempted to enter Bell's Gourmet Meats and Warlimont & Nutt Real Estate Agents, at the nearby Lochiel Av shops. Police have released an image of a man they wish to speak to taken in the rear car park at 3am. Detective Senior Constable Clayton Beckhouse is appealing to anyone with information to call Mornington CIU, 5970 4900, or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

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