Ballina ram raid goes wrong
By BREE PRICE
A DARING ram raid on a Ballina motorcycle shop came to a dramatic end when an employee tried to capture one of the thieves.
About 4am on Wednesday Jeff, from Highway One Motorcycles, who did not want his last name published, was called to the Ballina Industrial Estate shop after a stolen Holden Commodore was used to ram a roller door.
Two men dragged two brand new racing mini-bikes, worth more than $6000, through the gap between the buckled roller door and its frame.
A ranger spotted the men as they were trying to get the bikes into the car.
The men dumped the smaller bike in the shop's driveway.
One man rode off on the remaining bike.
The pair were pursued by police and the ranger. The the getaway bike was recovered a short time later from a muddy drain near the Pacific Highway at Cumbalum.
Both men escaped.
Two hours later Jeff was driving home when he saw a man hitch-hiking on the highway, wet and with a towel wrapped around him.
"I definitely knew it was him, from the description of the shorts and t-shirt," Jeff said.
"When I pulled up he had a towel and mud on him ? it was obvious.
"I jumped out and asked him if he was alright and he said he was cold.
"I had a Chopper (motorcycle) shirt on and he realised it wasn't alright.
"I said 'you're in a load of trouble' and went to grab him around his shoulders.
"He did the bolt into the bushes," Jeff said.
Highway One Motorcycles owner Peter Cooke said he felt 'gutted' by the attack on his business.
"I came across a scene of utter devastation," he said.
"There was broken glass right out on the road."
Mr Cooke said the roller door had even been bolted into the floor to prevent someone jemmying it open.
He said he was grateful the two bikes had been recovered and offered his thanks to the police, the ranger, and local security guard Peter Munn, who turned up to help.
Police are urging anyone with information about the ram-raid or who saw the green Holden Commodore to come forward.
Police have also issued a description of one of the men involved in the raid.
He is described as a young male who was wearing a white t-shirt and black or dark navy blue shorts. He has a short crew-cut hairstyle.
Anyone with information can contact Lismore Police Station on 6623 1599.