Lucky Groper Hole owner Julie Hayward had thieves break into the rear of her business on Thursday night and steal her safe.
Lucky Groper Hole owner Julie Hayward had thieves break into the rear of her business on Thursday night and steal her safe. Max Fleet

Crooks have crime spree

CROOKS broke into five businesses, three cars and one home during a night-long crime wave.

Thousands of dollars in cash and property were stolen on Thursday night when bandits took aim at the CBD, North Bundaberg, Thabeban, Svensson Heights and Millbank.

Three Northside Industrial Park businesses were broken into — Armadillo Camper Trailers, Neverfail Water Supplies and Bundaberg Stained Glass — as well as the Goodwood Road Bottle-O and Targo Street newsagency the Lucky Groper Hole.

The thieves also targeted a home in Theodore Street during a night Bundaberg Police Sergeant Mike McLellan said had “gone mad”.

Police believe some of the crimes are linked, while others were probably unrelated.

Lucky Groper Hole owner Julie Hayward was “devastated” to find thieves had stolen her safe with more than $12,000 in cash, cigarettes and scratchies inside.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Mrs Hayward said.

The crooks gained access through the rear of the shop by removing panels from the fence, cutting padlocks on the security gate and smashing their way through the wooden door.

“It would have taken them a lot of effort and a fair bit of time,” Mrs Hayward said.

“They seemed to know what they were doing, though.”

She believed there would have been more than one burglar to remove the safe.

“It was an old, very big and heavy safe,” she said.

“You can see the marks out the back where it has been dragged to the car. They couldn’t lift it.”

Mrs Hayward said her upset soon turned to anger.

“I was shaking like a leaf for the first few hours but now I am more angry than anything,” she said.

“I bet if someone did it to them they wouldn’t like it. It would be a whole other story.”

The shop owner was touched when McCracken’s Newsagency lent her enough cash and scratchies to start the day.

“I am so thankful for that,” Mrs Hayward said.

Bundaberg Stained Glass owner Louise Greenwood had her front door smashed and $150 stolen from her till.

“I got a phone call from the landlord at about 10.30pm on Thursday night after security found the broken windows,” she said.

“It’s pretty disappointing to see.”

Miss Greenwood was surprised to find her computer had not been stolen.

“I was very glad they didn’t take it,” she said.

“Overall I’m just glad no one was hurt.”

Sgt McLellan warned people not to leave valuables in cars after money, wallets, a CD player and a driver’s licence were stolen from three vehicles in Theodore Street, Avoca Street and Payne Street.

“It’s an important lesson. Hundreds of dollars in property and cash gets stolen from cars around here,” he said.

Criminal Investigations Branch detective sergeant Ben Fadian said the crimes were being investigated.

“Some appear to be linked but we think others are isolated incidents,” he said.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000 or Bundaberg Police on 4153 9111.



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