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Frustrated Canberra businesses are finding thieves returning to their premises time and again | The Canberra Times


news, business, burglary, police, break-ins, smash-and-grab, e-scooters

Another four commercial smash-and-grab burglaries have occurred in Canberra in the past 24 hours, with one store in Fyshwick hit twice in a 12 hour-period, after being burgled just over a week before that. Stretched police resources are struggling to hunt down the brazen thieves, who use portable power equipment to cut their way through locks and doorways, sparks flying, often as members of the public drive right by as captured on CCTV. Two gangs are understood to be operating across the ACT targeting e-scooter stores, convenience stores, flooring stores and hairdressers. They are hunting for cash or portable goods such as e-scooters which can be on-sold to customers who probably suspect they are receiving stolen property but are being offered the goods cheaply, usually for cash. However, the victims in these circumstances are fed up. Rob Ogilvie’s electric vehicle and e-scooter business in Fyshwick was targeted for the third time in a week around 4.10 on Tuesday. Just over a week ago thieves used a grinder to cut their way in, and stole several e-scooters from his showroom as a shrill alarm sounded and CCTV footage showed people driving by on the road outside, apparently oblivious to the activity. The thieves returned again but failed to gain entry, then came back a third time and used power tools and then an iron bar to smash their way through the front door. The brutal forced entry with the long bar sent pieces of glass flying through the showroom, damaging the paintwork on several of the electric cars parked inside. Two more e-scooters were stolen in the latest burglary. After multiple burglaries with offenders using much the same entry techniques and victims at their wit’s end as to how to keep the thieves from coming back time and again, police have finally formed a small operational crime targeting team. “With so many recent commercial burglaries, it seems pretty clear there’s just not enough cops around to patrol and act as a deterrent,” Mr Ogilvie said. “After two hits on our business, and other businesses getting hit twice too, I would have thought the police would be all over this. “But after our first burglary on February 18, and a whole bunch of businesses got hit the same night across Canberra including two other e-scooters stores, there was no follow-up from police. Then the thieves came back again and again. READ MORE: “We were calling other businesses to find out what they knew and by sharing our knowledge between us, we had a clearer picture of what was going on than the police did.” Police have warned anyone offered goods which they know are stolen property that they, too, are committing an offence. Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan has urged Canberrans that if they see a crime in progress, to call police and report it. “It’s appalling to think that people are seeing these blatant things happen and they don’t call us,” he said. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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