Smash and grab thieves targeting Toormina shops
By CRAIG McTEAR
AS soon as Tony Worldon heard his phone ring just before 4am yesterday, he knew his business had come under fire again.
The owner of Fearce Performance, at Toormina's Busy Bee Shopping Village, raced down to the store when security guards told him the alarms were going off.
Thieves had hurled a large brick through his front door and grabbed $2500 worth of gear from his shelves, including six or seven stereos, three sets of speakers and three amplifiers.
"We had a break in a week ago. They used a glass cutter on the other door but they didn't actually get inside. I guess it was probably the same guys this time," Tony said.
The nearby Mitre 10 store was robbed about 24 hours earlier after intruders used a brick to smash a glass window.
They broke open locked drawers and stole a substantial amount of cash and cheques, along with booklets of gift vouchers which can no longer be redeemed.
Power tools are also missing, although owner Ted Bailey won't be sure of the exact number until a stocktake.
"They targeted what was easy and quick," Ted said.
He didn't discover the damage until he opened later that morning and immediately thought to himself 'here we go again'.
"It happens all too often," he said.
"It's mainly been vandalism with smashed windows. They've very rarely made it inside.
"It's a huge cost imposition on a small business. Yes, we're insured, and yes, we have to pay an excess, but every time we make a claim, our premiums go up.
"It's just so frustrating.
"Busy Bee is a lovely little centre which is being ruined by idiots."
Ted has since beefed up his security measures.
At 2.48am yesterday, Peter Cutler's tyre and mechanical business on Toormina's Hogbin Drive also copped it.
Robbers kicked open his front door and hauled off eight mag wheels and eight tyres worth $2500 as alarms blared in their ears.
He was, however, thankful they didn't smash any glass.
"I've been here 10 years this year and I'd say we've been broken into five times, but in most cases they got nothing," Peter said.
"It becomes tiresome fronting up to work at 7am after you've only finished cleaning up at 4.30am. Your insurance premiums also jump up, and there's a heap of paperwork to do.
"It's more work you don't really need."
Next door, Tony Campbell owns Premier Car Wash. Just over a week ago, vandals left behind a damage bill of $16,000 when they destroyed three vacuums and trashed a vending machine.
And during the past few nights, he's had to endure graffiti and smashed tiles.