Police investigating ‘targeted attack’ against COVID-positive Mt Gambier woman

SA Police say they are investigating a suspicious car fire in Mount Gambier overnight in an apparent “targeted attack” against a local woman who tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

Oct 06, 2021, updated Oct 06, 2021
Police Commissioner and state emergency coordinator Grant Stevens. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Police Commissioner and state emergency coordinator Grant Stevens. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Emergency services were called to a residential address in Mount Gambier around 10pm on Tuesday following reports of a vehicle fire.

Police say a Holden sedan had been set alight in the driveway with flames threatening to spread to the house.

The fire destroyed the car and caused surface damage to the house before fire crews managed to extinguish it.

No-one was at the home at the time of the fire and there are no reported injuries, according to SA Police.

“This appears to be a targeted attack,” SA Police said in a statement.

Police commissioner Grant Stevens told reporters this morning that his understanding is the car belongs to a woman in her 40s who tested positive to COVID-19 in Mount Gambier over the weekend.

“People shouldn’t assume that they know what’s going on,” Stevens said.

“It’s completely unnecessary, it’s unwarranted – they have committed a serious crime and if we do detect them then we will be dealing with them appropriately.”

Crime scene investigators and local detectives attended the scene overnight with an investigation ongoing.

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It comes after the positive case prompted authorities to introduce a range of restrictions in the South East on Sunday.

The woman travelled to Casterton in Victoria, which was within the state’s 70km cross border travel bubble, and returned home to Mount Gambier on October 1 before testing positive over the weekend.

The woman has been transferred to the Tom’s Court medi-hotel where she is currently quarantining along with her four teenage children.

A total of 37 people are in quarantine after being identified as contacts of the woman, including 17 primary contacts who have been transferred to an Adelaide medi-hotel.

Contact tracers are currently working to track the woman’s movements, as it is unclear whether she travelled to Melbourne before returning to Mount Gambier.

A memo reportedly surfaced from Casterton Memorial Hospital suggesting she could have picked up the virus after visiting Melbourne.

Stevens told reporters yesterday that he has not been advised that the woman lied to contact tracers.

One public exposure site has been listed in connection to the case: the South Eastern Hotel SipnSave on 235 Commercial Street.

Anyone who was at the venue from 5.30pm to 6:05pm on Friday, October 1 is asked to monitor for symptoms.

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