TONY Cini is so sick of thieves he is considering throwing away his passion of owning and running a hobby shop.
The owner of Harpers Hobbies and Collectable’s in Wendouree, Mr Cini says his shop his been the target of violent thieves on three separate occasions in the last month.
The latest theft, which occurred last week, almost had Mr Cini giving everything away.
“If it happens again, I’ll throw in the towel for sure,” he said.
“It’s not worth the pain and effort every time you get broken into.”
Despite heavy protective wiring and steal guards on the door, vandals have repeatedly thrown rocks through the front windows of the store, breaking in and stealing expensive remote control cars.
In total, eight cars have been stolen, at an average cost of about $500 each car.
For Mr Cini, he not only has to re-stock the equipment that has been stolen, but also has to fix the front windows and damaged front door that remain after the thefts.
He is presently in the process of installing video cameras but says the increased cost in securing his shop from brazen thefts inevitably has to be passed on to the customer.
“I don’t want to have to make things more expensive, but when things like this keep on happening, it doesn’t really leave us with much choice,” he said.
“Of all the items we have in here, they go for the remote control cars every time. We have other things such as train sets that you can’t buy anywhere else in Ballarat but all they ever want to steal are the cars.”
The thefts follow a spate of similar burglaries at Tiny Tots Toyland in November last year, when three separate attacks also thousands of dollars of remote control cars stolen.
“It makes your blood boil to think people just smash their way in and think they can just steal what they want,” said Mr Cini.
Witnesses to any of the attacks or anybody with information is asked to contact Ballarat Police on 5336 6080.