SBS Struggle Street: Heart Wrenching Stories Of Survival From Regional NSW
Kristi works days and nights as a cleaner, while her partner works two jobs so together they can afford to keep a roof over their heads.
One morning Kristi woke to find her Holden Calais completely destroyed, and with it, all of her cleaning gear which she stored inside the vehicle.
Overnight her transport to work and her tools were ruined and her entire livelihood was called into question.
"We can't steal it so we will demolish it. Someone has got something good we want, we can't have, so we will destroy it so they can't have it either. I feel like I am going to cry," Kristi told SBS's Struggle Street program, now in its third season.
Kristi lives in Wagga Wagga on the NSW Riverina. Crime is a major issue in the town, especially the growing rate of car bombings. In 2018, over 40 cars were stolen and set alight in the streets. In fact, almost 1000 incidents of malicious damage to property were reported to police in the same year.
Due to their work schedule, Kristi and her partner are rarely at home. To keep their place safe, they've installed 10 CCTV cameras around their property.
In the search for answers about what happened to the car, Kristie and the founder of a Neighbourhood Watch group Wayne reviewed the CCTV footage. They watched as at least one unidentifiable person climbs the back fence to get a look at the car.
Soon after, the person lights what appears to be a car bomb and throws it over the fence and into the car. Immediately the vehicle catches fire and soon it's entirely destroyed.
"It's devastating," Kristi says as she wipes away tears.
While they are able to watch the footage back and see the crime being committed, they are powerless to stop it. Devastated, Wayne admitted it would cost thousands to replace Kristi's cleaning equipment, let alone the car.
"It's heartbreaking, that's a couple of grand out of your pocket,"Wayne says on the program.
Across town, Mason and Katherine are also struggling after falling victim crime in Wagga Wagga. The pair live in a home with their three-year-old daughter.
Struggle Street follows the family as they return to their property after a night away to find the place completely ransacked. Following the initial shock of the burglary, Mason and Katherine make a more heartbreaking discovery -- most of their valuables have been taken.
The pair suddenly feel unsafe in their own neighborhood and are unsure if they are able to trust people in the wider community following the robbery.
Katherine reveals her biggest concern is the safety of her young daughter and what her future will look like if she and Mason decide to stay in Wagga.
“Some people say get the heck out of there -- it’s not ok that you don’t feel safe," Katherine said.
"My daughter is three. Do I want her to go to school here? Do I want her growing up in this community?”
Struggle Street follows the family as they contemplate a better life elsewhere for their daughter.
Struggle Street Season Three premieres Wednesday 9 October, 8.30pm on SBS.
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