By Peter Douglas
Five shop break-ins over the past two years have left a Monbulk business-owner feeling vulnerable and frustrated.
Alpine Mowers suffered its latest hit during the early hours of Tuesday 20 March, just weeks after would-be thieves made an earlier attempt at entering the premises.
In the recent heist, the thieves were thought to have used a stolen utility to ram and gain access to the shop before making off with an estimated $10,000 worth of valuable stock.
Shop owner Adam Robin said he now fears venturing too far from the premises for any length of time, with his shop becoming a frequent target in recent years.
“I went away one weekend and you’re always kind of worrying, you know. You don’t know what you’re going to come back to,” Mr Robin said.
“You always kind of feel vulnerable. They’re too gutless to do it during the day, when police can come in five minutes. But at night, it seems they can just come in and do as they please.”
The thieves’ actions were captured on a CCTV system that Mr Robin has installed, including both the attempted burglary on Friday 2 March and the latest successful thefts.
Mr Robin posted the images to Facebook in an effort to find the culprits, writing; “I wish these oxygen-thieving germs would realise we don’t do night shift here! But there are other devices in other places that do!”
However, the thieves are yet to be found and Mr Robin said he couldn’t hide his frustrations.
“At present, it’s been five break-ins (over the past two years) and no result. They’ve just got away with it and I’m frustrated,” he said.
“I just think there’s not enough deterrents for these people. I mean, what happens if they go to court anyway; they’ll just get a slap on the wrist.
“I just don’t think enough is being done to help small business.”
Mr Robin said the spate of thefts over recent years had left him feeling on edge, because he didn’t know when the next break-in would occur.
He feels there could be more in the future and he would like more to be done, so he can feel that his shop and livelihood will be safe.
If anyone has information on the thefts, contact Lilydale CIU on (03) 9739 2300.