Coast properties targeted by considerate crooks
By HELEN JACK
POLICE are on the trail of a thief or a group of thieves conducting a slick campaign of break and enters targeting only cash and portable items like iPods, laptop computers and wallets.
The robberies began four days ago and have so far centred on Ballina and Lennox Head, with more than 20 homes and business premises being broken into.
Lennox Head's Riley Burnett Jeweller owner Jenny Riley said the thief or thieves were very tidy.
"They removed two louvres from a window and squeezed through," she said.
"Nothing in the store was damaged and they did not take anything else. They were only after money.
"At least they were kind enough not to trash the place."
A business woman for 20 years, Ms Riley said she had never heard of so many places burgled at one time.
Lennox Head's PRD Real Estate licensee Brett Jones said the thief or thieves had broken a window to gain access.
"They tried to get into the safe but did not get anything," he said.
"It's a nuisance more than anything, and they are obviously well organised.
"They were neat and clean in their operation and knew what they were doing."
Police were reluctant to reveal information concerning the incidents for fear of alerting the culprits, Richmond Local Area Command acting crime manager Detective-Sergeant Jason Evers said.
"There is no pattern to the break-ins and they are randomly picking premises, especially unsecured and unlocked premises," he said.
"Police resources have been tasked to respond to these incidents, both overt and covert.
"We believe someone may have information that could assist us to apprehend the offender or offenders.
"Residents and business owners are encouraged to assist police with any information relating to the on-selling of the stolen property.
"There is an illegal market for the sale of the property and someone may have information."
Det-Sgt Evers said in the majority of the residential offences entry was gained through unlocked doors and windows. Many of the residents were at home during the robberies.