Ram raiders sound security alarm

Brumby’s head apprentice, Ethan Scheepers, was working when the ram raid on the Target Country store, in the background, occurred.
Brumby’s head apprentice, Ethan Scheepers, was working when the ram raid on the Target Country store, in the background, occurred. JAY CRONAN

THE audacious pre-dawn ram raid by thieves at the Target Country department store in Goonellabah Shopping Village on Saturday has prompted a full review of security at the centre.

A spokeswoman for the centre managers, Macquarie Real Estate and Management Services, said the company was already reassessing the security situation and had provided police with CCTV footage to assist.

“This is the first reported incident of this kind in the centre’s history, how-ever management will be reviewing the security arrangements centre to ensure the ongoing safety of ourtenants and customers,” she said.

With no anti-ram raid bollards outside any shops at the complex, and easy vehicle access from the car park, the thieves had a clear run-up to thedepartment store door.

To make life even easier, the deep-set entry to the department store provided enough ‘privacy’ for the thieves to complete their 5am heist even with twoother businesses open at the time.

Tony McLean was serving a customer at Goonellabah Newsagency, a few doors up from Target, when he heard tyres screeching.

“I thought, hello, what’s going on here?” he said.

“A minute later I heard another screech and thought someone wasdoing burn-outs in the car park and didn’t think any more about it until the police came.”

The thieves were so quick Ethan Scheepers, the head apprentice at Brumby’s Bakery just across the car park, was oblivious to the robbery.

“We’ve never heard of anything like this happening around here,” he said.

“I was working at the oven with the radio and exhaust fan on and missed it all.”

The thieves stole about $5000 worth of entertainment and electrical goods, escaping in the stolen VN Holden Commodore which was found burnt out a few streets away.

Target’s store manager said business was continuing as usual.

Lismore duty officer Inspector Bill McKenna said police were awaiting the results from forensic tests and were continuing to canvass the area.

Anyone with information should contact Lismore police on 6626 0599.

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