Aquavue break-in - owner Larry Burch.
Aquavue break-in - owner Larry Burch. Alistair Brightman

BREAK-IN BRIGADE: Call for private security force

PRIVATE security patrols seem like the only option for a Torquay business owner, fed up with dealing with break-ins.

Aquavue owner Larry Burch said his cafe was one of the businesses targeted in a spate of six break-ins across the long weekend.

Watching from his phone linked to Aquavue's security cameras, Mr Burch saw two masked bandits attempt to use screw drivers to enter the building before smashing a window with hammers on Monday night.

Once inside, the offenders wreaked havoc, causing a $5000 damage bill.

While they did not steal anything, a frustrated Mr Burch said acts like these affected his business and the broader community.

"We employ 20 full-time staff and 20 causal, we have a lot of local people employed and every time this happens it means someone else won't get their hours over the next few weeks because we have to re-coup costs somehow," he said.

Maryborough Patrol Group Criminal Investigation Branch Officer in Charge Detective Senior Sergeant David Harbison said the break-in at Aquavue happened between 10.20pm Monday night and 1.45am on Tuesday morning.

At the time of publication, the police property crime unit had two juvenile males in custody who were assisting with inquiries in regards to a number of offences.

Mr Burch said he was not sure what the solution was.

"There needs to be intervention and I'm not quite sure how it happens," he said.

"I am looking at different options like security patrols unless other ideas come up.

"I have been approached by other businesses with the same concerns."

 

Mark and Lisa Blyth from The Dock Hervey Bay - after their third break-in.
Mark and Lisa Blyth from The Dock Hervey Bay - after their third break-in. Alistair Brightman

One business with similar concerns was Urangan's The Dock restaurant, which was recently broken into for the third time in 18 months.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, two offenders were caught on CCTV smashing a window before stealing about 20 alcoholic drinks and $200 in cash from charity donation jars.

Owners Mark and Lisa Blyth estimated the damage bill to be more than $1000.

"We got an alert on our phone about 3.30am and could see them on the cameras, the alarm chased them off, we must have arrived just after they left," Mr Blyth said.

"It's disappointing because we do our best to support the community but at the end of the day we are still here and operating.

"We already have roaming security supplied by the Mantra but we are looking at installing more cameras and lights."