Bandits raid fire station, boutique

THIEVES have struck hard at Bangalow, making off with six communication radios from the fire station and $180,000 worth of designer clothing from a boutique store in the main street.

Owner of Island Luxe, John Brenko, learned of the theft from his shop when Bangalow fire caption Andrew Hill phoned and told him about the break-in at the fire station next door on Friday morning. The thieves gained access to the shop by cutting a security mesh window at the rear of the property.

Once inside they stole a large number of designer jeans, shorts, jackets and other assorted clothing items that were highly priced and had been imported from the United States and other overseas countries.

The brands stolen include TRBD, Citizen Jeans, Gypsy 05, Replay and Fwy, with a total retail value of $180,000.

The family business, run by Mr Brenko, his wife and son, has been open for two years and they have put everything they’ve got into it.

“We opened this place on credit cards and we’re still paying it off,” Mr Brenko said.

“We work seven days a week and these people who are thieving from us are putting us in a diabolical financial position.”

The break-in at Island Luxe occurred some time between 6.30pm last Thursday and 7am the next day.

Capt Hill said the six radios stolen from the Bangalow Fire Station would be totally useless to anyone else because they had been disabled.

“You have to be pretty low to take radios from a fire station,” he said.

“We’ve got radios from other stations now.”

Capt Hill said the stolen radios were worth up to $500 each.

It is the first time the Bangalow Fire Station and Island Luxe have been broken into.

Inspector Shane Diehm, of the Tweed- Byron Local Area Command, said detectives scoured the scene for clues and had been collecting evidence to identify the thieves.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who is offered clothing at a discount rate,” Inspector Diehm said.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it always most certainly is.”

Mr Brenko said the thieves were likely to try and sell the designer clothing on eBay.

Anyone who can help should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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