THIEVES escaped in a dinghy across the Swan River after scaling sheer, high cliffs to raid cars and leave older residents of luxury homes on edge about more crime in North Fremantle.
“They ran back up the street and over the cliff, and the tinny’s engine was heard as they took off,” Corkhill Street resident Yvonne Barron said.
About 3am last Sunday, residents in nearby Phyllis Street, which ends at the Rocky Bay cliffs, disturbed hoodie-wearing men attempting to break into cars.
Ms Barron, who is a victim of three attempted daylight burglaries in two years, said she was told the men ran down a near-vertical cliff path after they were challenged by another resident and the dinghy headed towards East Fremantle using a searchlight.
Residents are suspicious the dinghy may be connected to the burglary of a Corkhill Street home about three weeks ago, after which a satchel form the house was found floating in the Swan River near the Johanna Street dinghy parking area, 700m downstream from Phyllis Street.
Residents who did not wish to be named, because they feared retaliation by youths using the heavily vegetated cliff tops, also described rocks thrown at windows, multiple break-ins over several years, finding bags with clothes and drugs, and frequent suspicious behaviour.
“The cliff top needs cleaning up because there is far too much bush for people to hide in, and we’ve been told the area could be being used for drugs,” a resident said.
Her neighbours have installed CCTV, despite being only 200m from Water Police whose main role is search and rescue.
“When the Water Police moved in we were told, among many things by then minister Gordon Hill, that it would bring greater security,” North Fremantle Community Association convenor Gerard MacGill said.
A WA Police spokeswoman said there was a 3.20am report on October 22 of attempts to break into vehicles on Phyllis Street; police patrolled but the men were not located and no damaged vehicles were found.
“WA Police are aware of some issues in the North Fremantle area and are working closely with the Department of Housing and other support agencies,” the spokeswoman said.
Cr Doug Thompson said Fremantle council was aware of itinerants’ use of Rocky Bay caves and any North Fremantle crime had to be reported to police and the city’s community safety team.