Grinch steals child’s present

A LOCAL mother has criticised a Christmas Grinch who stole a children’s garden bench that had been gifted to her daughter, while it was being used to create a Christmas card image at a local park.

Gawler South resident Steph Niblett took her 14-month-old daughter, Rose, to Gawler’s Apex Park earlier this month, to take some photos of her to use in Christmas cards for her parents.

Ms Niblett brought a small children’s garden bench, which Rose received as a gift from her father, to feature in the photos.

However, after taking the photos and going to the nearby playground to play with her daughter for 10 minutes, Ms Niblett returned to find the bench was gone.

“It was horrible,” she recalled.

“I drove around frantically for it, it was really upsetting.

“My sister-in-law asked me to bring it down…so she felt terrible that she asked me to bring it.

“We felt violated, because we were standing right there with our kids.

“My sister-in-law said it’s almost like someone was there watching us.”

While the incident wasn’t reported to police, police say they are aware that opportunistic criminals seek to take advantage of situations where people may not have secured their property, or are distracted in some way.

While they say this can occur any time throughout the year, they’ve urged people to take extra precautions with their property to ensure they are not a victim of crime over the festive season.

Anyone who has seen, or has any information about, the bench is urged to ring Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report it online at



Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.