HERVEY Bay business owner Keith Leigh is asking the felons who broke into his Main St antique shop on the weekend to think about where their lives are headed.

Thieves hit Wide Bay Antiques and Collectables on Saturday night, smashing through the roof and ceiling in order to steal about $5000 in jewellery from the store.

The brazen thieves stole gold and silver chains, bracelets and other items before smashing the store's front window in order to get out.

In all they caused about $2000 in damage which Mr Leigh will have to pay for from his own pocket as he is unable to get insurance.

"Something like this sets me back and then I have to cut costs by cutting staff hours," he said.

Mr Leigh has two part-time employees at the shop and had been looking to increase their hours as profits increased.

The antiques store owner was open about his criminal past, which included drugs, dishonesty offences and violent crimes.

Mr Leigh said he had been free from drugs and crime for seven years and had owned the store for about a year-and-a-half.

He said he was quite proud of how he reacted to the break-in.

"The old me would have gotten angry and used drugs," he said.

"That would not have served me at all."

Mr Leigh said he was instead focusing on repairing the damage and getting the shop back up and running.

He has already received help from the community with BMC Locksmiths offering to fix the locks at cost price. The reformed criminal did have one message for the thieves.

"They need to stop and think where their life is going," he said.

Mr Leigh said he was living proof that it was possible for some to turn their life around.

Police are investigating the break-in.

If you have information call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.