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Robbed for the fourth time in four years

July 30, 2022

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By Peter Holmes

After a 16-hour day, Glenroi resident Tully Denahy heads home on Friday night to enjoy a few beers, eat takeaway food and veg out in front of the TV.

He is planning to spend the weekend camping, dirt bike riding and hunting, and packs a bag with three Atunga compound bows with optical scopes, stabilisers, red dot and range finders, arrow notches and fast release; hunting arrows; knives; snares and traps.

He leaves the bag sitting by the front door, ready for a quick departure on Saturday morning.

Denahy isn’t even three beers in when he falls asleep on the lounge, TV humming away in the background. The front door - a few metres from the lounge - is closed, but he hasn’t yet locked it.

Sometime around 4am, as Denahy sleeps, a neighbour hears a loud bang and a revving sound, possibly that of a dirt bike.

Denahy wakes a few hours later, at 6:15am, to find his front door open.

All is quiet except for the high pitched squealing of cats fighting. They are close by. Too close.

As he comes to, Denahy realises the cat fight is between his two cats and a stray, which has wandered into his house during the night. What the hell?

He then notes that his hunting bag is not where he left it. Nor are his iPad, laptop and gold watch.

Denahy is furious.

It is the fourth time in four years his house on Kokoda Street in Glenroi has been robbed.

“I’ve had a gutful,” he tells The Orange News Examiner.

Denahy runs a sandblasting, trailer and fabrication company: “You work your arse off, the cost of living is rising, you make sacrifices to get ahead, literally bleeding on the job, and someone just steals months of your [work].”

He estimates the loss at somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000. It could have been worse, he says - had the thief or thieves walked into his bedroom they would have found his coin jar, phone and the key to his new Ford Ranger.

Denahy is angry, yes, but as he walks the perimeter of his property for evidence, he is also deeply worried.

In the right hands, his prized hunting bows are used to fell vermin - rabbits, foxes, pigs, boars. In the wrong hands, they have the potential to kill or maim a human.

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As the city begins to spring to life, Denahy is conjuring in his mind all the dreadful things that might go wrong if, for example, teenagers have robbed his house and decide to play with their haul.

“This is the hunter’s equivalent of a sniper rifle,” he says. “It has a range of 200 metres and it’s almost impossible to miss unless you are stupid. It is incredibly difficult to draw.”

Denahy says he has been hunting solo for about 20 years, since his mid teens. These days he is invited onto properties in the Central West to remove vermin.

“I’ll be contacted by a landowner who has a problem with rabbits, foxes, pigs or boars.”

He will camp on site, do a walk-through with the owners to establish safe lines of fire, and spend a few days riding his dirt bike and hunting.

He says that “when you’ve grown up on a farm you’ll get talking with cockies and they’ll say they’ve got a problem".

Landowners are happy to have someone cull on their behalf, Denahy says, and at the end of a trip all the animals are returned to the owner and often used as meat for farm dogs.

Aside from a quiet, high-pitched woosh as it whizzes through the air, bows are silent. Landowners prefer this to the crack of rifles, he says.

“With a bow you need to be a lot closer than with a rifle,” Denahy explains. “The thrill for me is moving silently, tracking game, setting up so that maybe two animals come together, you hit one then the other quickly takes off [and you shoot it].”

The aim is to kill the animal instantly, and mostly this happens, Denahy says, but if not then he takes a knife and … well, you get the idea.

He describes the bow as his “pride and joy”.

“But in the hands of a young muppet who tries to test fire this in their backyard, the steel tip arrows will go through a car and keep going. It can end up in the neighbour’s house,” he says.

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Denahy says the robbery has been reported to Orange Police Station. An officer would not comment when contacted by The Orange News Examiner.

Later on Saturday morning Denahy puts the house up for rent. He doesn’t hide its history.

He’s had enough of Glenroi, he says, and wants to move out of town onto a patch of land. Get a few unwanted farm dogs that make some noise when visitors arrive.

“I still enjoy the area, and my work is here,” he says. “But when I moved in about four or five years ago Glenroi was pretty relaxed with security, you didn’t see many boundary fences and security cameras and dogs. They’re everywhere now.”

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