Shirley Hack had her Surfers Paradise unit broken into while she was home, losing jewellery and family heirlooms. Picture: Jerad Williams
Shirley Hack had her Surfers Paradise unit broken into while she was home, losing jewellery and family heirlooms. Picture: Jerad Williams

He saw me as an ‘easy target’

A GOLD Coast grandmother has been left shaken after a callous thief snuck into her unit and stole some of her most treasured possessions.

The heartless robber took the 92-year-old's deceased husband's Order of Australia medal, her engagement rings and jewellery handed down to her from her late mother, as well as cash and other valuables.

Police want to speak to this man about a robbery incident at a high-rise on The Esplanade on Friday.
Police want to speak to this man about a robbery incident at a high-rise on The Esplanade on Friday.

Shirley Hack believes she was in her Esplanade home on Friday afternoon, sitting in her favourite arm chair while going through her mail, while the thief ransacked two of the bedrooms in her 11th-floor apartment in the heart of Surfers Paradise.

It's believed the man had stolen an electronic key used to access the building, before watching Mrs Hack check her mail on the ground floor.

Stalking the elderly woman, he caught the elevator to her floor, before entering her apartment while she sat on her couch.

"I'm not well … I'd gone down to check my mail on the first floor," she said. "There's a little cubby hole there and you need the security latch and as I went to turn into there, I nearly barrelled into a person. He was coming out of the area.

Shirley Hack had her Surfers Paradise unit broken into while she was home, losing jewellery and family heirlooms. Picture: Jerad Williams
Shirley Hack had her Surfers Paradise unit broken into while she was home, losing jewellery and family heirlooms. Picture: Jerad Williams

"I'd never seen him before and you get to know the permanents here and you don't strike holiday-makers in the mail area. He was all in black.

"I came out, went to the lift and came straight back into my unit … I wanted to read that mail and the television was on and I sat down and I was engrossed in the mail and I feel that he came in, and looked around the corner to see what I was doing and gone into the bedroom area, without me noticing him.

"I didn't have occasion to check anything in my bedroom until I went to have a shower that night. I went to get some clean clothes and I noticed where I kept my jewellery wasn't right. It was in a flat plastic box, inside a bag and the bag was all over the place and I pulled it open and everything was gone."

Shirley Hack. Picture: Jerad Williams
Shirley Hack. Picture: Jerad Williams

Mrs Hack said she looked around and noticed a lot of things amiss in her home. Her handbag was gone, the bedside table was open and her husband's Order of Australia medal was gone.

"It's a great invasion of my privacy, when it happens to you though, it's a shock.

"I'm coping, I have to get over it don't I? It has left me very unsettled. I felt that maybe I should have the locks changed on the door. I don't know what I should do.

"I bet he took one look at me and thought 'she's an easy target, she'll do'.

"You can let these things ruin your life or you can move on. In view of what's going on in the world, it pales in significance."

Mrs Hack's daughter, Susan Hack said her mother was putting on a brave face, but it has left her worried.

"It's really shaken her, but thank God she didn't disturb him," Mrs Hack said.

"Mum's got a stiff upper lip, but I can tell you, it's really thrown her.

"They pick vulnerable people for a reason.

"He was comfortable enough to sneak in and go through the bedrooms."

Police are investigating the brazen robbery. If you know anything about this crime, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.