Thieves tar­get kite-surf­ing shops

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

PERTH kite-surf­ing shops have been warned by po­lice to in­crease their se­cu­rity af­ter two of the out­lets were tar­geted by smash-and­grab thieves over two weeks.

“We have not drawn any in­fer­ences be­tween the two in­ci­dents, un­less we get more in­for­ma­tion or some­thing back from our foren­sics, but kite-shop own­ers should think about their se­cu­rity, and although it doesn’t look the best, think about putting bars on their win­dows,” Man­durah Sergeant Ai­dan Sloan said.

Ned­lands kite-surf­ing shop Aus­tralian Wind­force lost many kites and boards to raiders who loaded the stock into a white util­ity, af­ter gain­ing en­try by throw­ing a rock through a win­dow at the Stir­ling High­way store about 3.30am on Fe­bru­ary 26.

On March 8, thieves broke a win­dow and took eight kite-surf­ing boards worth about $7500 from WA Surf on Pin­jarra Road, Man­durah, the same night a surf shop in nearby Ersk­ine was raided.

Rock­ing­ham-based WA Surf owner Drew Mal­colm said it was the third rob­bery – but the first where stock was taken – at his Man­durah shop since it opened in Septem­ber last year.

The eight 2015-model North- made boards that were taken did not have fins or foot­pads and Mr Mal­colm said would be hard for any thief to sell the boards on kitesurf­ing web­site Seabreeze or else­where be­cause they needed spe­cial ad­di­tions to at­tach the foot­pads that were only avail­able at a limited num­ber of out­lets in Australia.

“And although kit­ing may have grown as a sport, it’s still a rel­a­tively small com­mu­nity and if any­one sees the boards on Seabreeze, with the in­ten­tion of buy­ing any board, they will be ex­pect­ing it to be about $900 new, and if it’s $300 they’ll know it’s a scam,” Mr Mal­colm said.

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