Crime wave continues in quiet town

THE armed attack on the Bangalow Newsagency was one of a string of crimes to hit the usually placid heritage town on Sunday night/Monday morning, and follows two serious burglaries of main street premises last week.

The chic cafe Utopia had its back door jemmied and Sunday’s takings stolen. Staff were mourning the loss of the $600–$700 they had put into a fund for their Christmas party, scheduled to take place today.

A thief or thieves also tried to break into Lois Buckett Real Estate but were thwarted by a security door at the rear. They also failed to enter Bangalow Hairdressers. Police are not ruling out a link between the burglaries and the newsagency attack.

The robberies come just days after high-end homewares, clothing and gifts boutique Island Luxe lost $180,000 worth of men’s clothing and the fire station lost six radios in burglaries.

His family had been hard-hit by the Island Luxe robbery, John Brenko said, and he and his son were going to watch the store during the night. He added that several Bangalow residents had told him they were also going to step up security ‘patrols’.

Michael Molloy, head of the town’s Chamber of Commerce, said while he was ‘not a vigilante’, he often went out for early morning walks, ‘to keep an eye on things’.

“Unfortunately Bangalow is at something of a crossroads and is vulnerable in that respect,” he said. “We have asked Byron council for a safety audit for the town, but there has been no response – as usual.”

The theft of the Fire Service radios was a particularly low act, Mr Molloy said, and could have caused big problems if an emergency had occurred.

Meanwhile, the Utopia staff party would still go ahead, according to head chef and part-owner Graeme Stockdale.

“You’ve got to have a Christmas party,” he said.

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