Kerry Thomson, of Alstonville Florist, watches as Wayne Meaclem, of Jim Gamble and Son Locksmiths, repairs locks at her store
Kerry Thomson, of Alstonville Florist, watches as Wayne Meaclem, of Jim Gamble and Son Locksmiths, repairs locks at her store David Nielsen

Thieves go on rampage

CRIMINALS have targeted businesses on the Northern Rivers, with almost 30 shops in Ballina, Alstonville and Lennox Head broken into over the past four days.

The Alstonville Florist was secured with a padlock and a metal bar, but it still didn't stop thieves from stealing more than $1000 early yesterday morning.

Owner Kerry Thomson was surprised anyone could get in.

“We left the Saturday takings here, which isn't something I would normally do,” she said.

“I just feel like I've been a bit stupid.”

It was one of eight break-ins at the Alstonville Plaza, and another nine businesses were targeted in Lennox Head. This comes after a spate of break-ins at Ballina's Wigmore Arcade last Friday morning.

Police said there could be a link between the incidents.

“It would appear to be an organised individual or group of individuals,” Richmond Local Area Command Inspector Greg Moore said.

Rent payments and cameras were taken from Wal Murray First National Real Estate at Alstonville, but other businesses reported that nothing was stolen.

Ken Baird, from Alstonville Pools and Spas, said the thieves 'rummaged around' his shop. “They're just looking for cash,” he said.

Michelle Chandler, from Le Chelle Boutique in Lennox Head, was devastated to discover her shop had been trashed.

“The lock was damaged, and the till and the counter,” she said. “They stole all the money, which was about $1000.

“I just hate thievery. It's such a shame that this has happened.”

No arrests have been made, but police are still investigating. Anyone with any information can call Ballina detectives or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

HOW CAN WE CATCH THESE THIEVES?

Phone 6624 3266, SMS 0428 264 948 or leave your comments  below.



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