Part owner of Brunswick Heads’ Sandbar restaurant Rachael Smith says that they have been robbed twice in two months.
While police deny there is a crime wave, the town has had more than its fair share of break and enters in recent weeks.
‘The first time they took our till, which had nothing in it, but they smashed it up anyway, and it was just days after we spent $200 on replacement parts’, Rachael says.
‘This time, however, they got lucky. They stole our till drawer which had a $250 float in it. I hope they have fun spending it because we are certainly not having fun replacing it.’
As well as Sandbar, several other eateries have been the target of theft as has a surf shop and a hairdresser, but the biggest loss has been laptops and IT gear that was stolen from the primary school last week.
Lack of police presence
Just last Saturday morning, trespassers entered the Brunswick Fitness Centre through a ground-floor rear window into a dressing room. Nothing was taken or tampered with, however, say police.
Ms Smith says that she has heard of one cafe which has been broken into six times in six weeks and she knows of three other businesses that have also been victims of what she calls a crime wave.
‘I think the root of the problem is lack of police presence in Brunswick Heads’, she says. ‘There is no patrol car that monitors the streets late at night and the police station is never open if anyone wishes to report a crime or experiences any trouble. Instead we are redirected to Byron police station. Without police in the town it is a playground for petty criminals and opportunists alike – and it is not fair on the people, residents and business owners who have to put up with this threat.
‘Meanwhile we are thinking about how we can afford the several thousand dollars for a new alarm system and will have realised the error of our trusting ways. Never will we keep cash on the premises again’.
Tweed Heads LAC acting duty officer Leanne Edmonds said that though it didn’t appear to be a spree, resident and business owners were encourage to keep doors and windows locked and to report suspicious activity to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.