Golden Nugget Bakery target of smash-and-grab

A WOULD-BE robber was caught by surprise yesterday morning after a smash-and-grab attack on a Sturt St business was thwarted by its early-rising employees.A man allegedly used a hammer to smash the drive-through window at Golden Nugget Bakery at 3am yesterday, unaware that four bakers were working inside.Baker Tim Novak entered the drive-through area to investigated the sound of breaking glass, and came face-to-face with the robber, who was reaching through the drive-in window and into the till.''He freaked out. He tried to pull his arm out (of the till) and ran across the road,'' Mr Novak said.In the heat of the moment, baker Allan Fowler and bakery supervisor Darren Horsley jumped into a car and drove through the streets to find the robber. They caught up with him on the corner of Pleasant and Sturt streets.''We thought we had him cornered and he came at Darren with a hammer,'' Mr Fowler said.Mr Horsley fell when he jumped out of the way of the hammer and suffered cuts to his arm.The bakers said that in hindsight, it had not been a good idea to chase the would-be robber.''I don't like the fact that we're working hard to earn a crust and they're walking around damaging things,'' he said.Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson of Ballarat CIU said the bakers contacted the police, who, an hour later, apprehended a man matching the robber's description.Yesterday, a 25-year-old Delacombe man was charged with burglary, criminal damage, assault with a weapon and recklessly causing injury. He has been bailed to appear in Ballarat Magistrates Court on January 28.Police said the attempted robbery was not linked to at least two other smash-and-grabs that occurred in Sturt St on Wednesday night.