Police hunt ?smash and grab? thieves



WHILE most of us were sleeping early yesterday, thieves went to work on stores in Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga.

Coopers Surf Centre on the corner of Harbour Drive and Gordon Street in Coffs Harbour was the first target at 2.20am.

Robbers smashed a glass window and a cabinet leaning against it inside, reached in and grabbed up to 30 Oakley sunglasses from the two top shelves.

Relief manager Steve Herring estimated the glasses had a retail value of $7000 or more. One set, worth $600, had a built-in MP3 player.

Mr Herring said it appeared to be a planned hit.

Two years ago, bandits stole $20,000 worth of Oakley sunglasses from Coopers Park Beach Plaza store after smashing their way in through the roof and ruining a cabinet.

Woopi Bizarre in Woolgoolga's Beach Street was yesterday's next crime at 3am when offenders smashed the front window and seized from a shopfront display a man's wetsuit, a pair of men's Ugg Boots, a backpack and three beanies.

They took a chunk out of a surfboard during the frenzy. A witness who rang police reported seeing three males running from the area.

Store owner Brett Pilon figures he's down at least $500 in merchandise, not to mention the repair bill.

"This is the first trouble we've had since taking over in September, but I know the previous owners experienced the same sort of thing a few times," Mr Pilon said.

Police are investigating a possible link between yesterday's two robberies.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Coffs Harbour police on 6652 0299 or Woolgoolga police on 6654 1244.



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