The sleepy street that is Maple Grove in Wentworth Falls was a hive of police cars and media trucks last week after 77-year-old Frank Novac was bashed over the head with a beer bottle and robbed of his guns.
His wife of 55 years, Theresa Novac, told media outlets that she found her husband about 8pm on Wednesday “lying in a pool of blood” with “rubber in his mouth and tape around and around his face (and) his hands tied behind him.”
She had gone to look for him when he hadn’t come upstairs for dinner.
Mr Novak is a member of the Blue Mountains Pistol Club, which is why he had the guns secured in two safes in his garage.
The club preferred not to comment about the incident but a spokesman for the Katoomba Rifle Club known only as “Mark” said his members were “shocked” by the incident and “assumed the man had been targeted because of his handguns”.
“Perhaps they had access to the firearms database . . . but the attack is hardly the thing you expect in the Mountains.”
Superintendent Darryl Jobson confirmed that police believed the man was the victim of a targeted attack. Superintendent Jobson said five registered handguns and four registered rifles were stolen in the break-in at Maple Grove sometime between 6 and 8pm on Wednesday, February 6.
“About this time at least one male has entered the garage area of those premises and has confronted the 77-year-old male victim. There was confrontation, the male was assaulted and he was also tied up,” he said.
Superintendent Jobson said the man may have suffered a “slight heart attack”.
A neighbour said Mr Novac liked to tinker in his garage and liked to talk. Mr Novac was treated for head injuries and for heart problems at Nepean Hospital and discharged on Friday. ”It’s certainly a cowardly attack,” Superintendent Jobson said. “That’s why we’re treating it very seriously,” he said. Investigations are continuing.