Business owners work hard enough as it is without mindless thieves breaking in and stealing from their premises, sometimes on multiple occasions.
It’s hard enough for some people to make ends meet without being the target of thieves, who not only take money or goods, but the trail of destruction during a break-in can run into the thousands of dollars. Not to mention the loss of income if a burglary results in the business closing until the damage is repaired.
And now it seems the latest string of burglaries on Ballarat businesses may be linked.
At least six Ballarat businesses were broken into within hours of each other at the weekend and police are investigating whether the same offenders are involved.
For one victim of the weekend spate of burglaries – Alfredton Hair and Beauty – this is the 12th time the business has been the victim of break-ins.
The Alfredton hair salon was the first to be hit at the weekend, followed by two supermarkets, a takeaway cafe, a service station and a bowling club in Sebastopol.
Thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes and cash were taken from the businesses.
Alfredton Hair and Beauty manager Liana Furness was shocked by the latest break-in, despite it being a regular occurrence and she believes crime is a really big problem in Ballarat.
“I don’t think you ever get used to it, it’s still a shock every time,” she said. “It’s really disappointing people think it’s okay to do this. They need to get a life and work hard to get what they want.”
This latest string of burglaries is despite Ballarat’s new top cop Superintendent Jenny Wilson saying earlier this month offending in the region is slowing down.
And it comes a month after the announcement that a team of detectives set up to target repeat offenders has helped Ballarat record a drop in the number of aggravated burglaries.
This is cold comfort to the victims of the latest break-ins in the region.
On any given day, social media group posts alert Ballarat people to crimes in the area, whether that be stolen and burnt-out cars or home CCTV footage of people breaking in to properties or businesses.
While our police are doing a stellar job in trying to catch and arrest these offenders, it is evident Ballarat and its regions remain hot spots for crime.