Thieves hit three sites
Cobram has again been a hotspot for burglars, with three locations targeted early Wednesday last week.
Police believe the crimes were committed by two offenders in what appeared to be a co-ordinated attack.
The Uniting Church op shop was broken into about 1 am, with the offenders ransacking the property before using a fire extinguisher inside, causing considerable damage.
Nothing was stolen from the premises, according to Cobram Criminal Investigation Unit.
From there, the offenders allegedly targeted Cobram Gift and Cigarette Accessories, smashing the front window about 2.15 am with an unknown tool to gain access.
‘‘The offenders completely ransacked the store, smashing glass cabinets, pulling products off display cabinets — causing a lot of damage to stock and fixtures,’’ Cobram CIU Senior Constable Jacob Sinclair said.
After leaving behind a trail of destruction, police believe the perpetrators moved to the Cobram Football Club about 5 am.
‘‘Once there they removed the lever windows, got inside and smashed the two glass doors of the refrigerator and stole alcohol,’’ Sen Const Sinclair said.
‘‘The fridge was locked with a padlock but they picked up a stool and smashed the glass doors with it, stealing mixed spirits and beer, and they also kicked-in a couple of doors before leaving,’’ he said.
Sen Const Sinclair said at this stage no arrests have been made, with CIU continuing to investigate.
He said it appeared a pattern had emerged in terms of the type of premises targeted.
‘‘I think they’re just picking places that are easy targets and that are in secluded areas like the Uniting Church op shop and Cobram Football Club,’’ Sen Const Sinclair said.
‘‘I think it’s just opportunistic offenders picking soft targets to get some cash and alcohol.’’
Sen Const Sinclair said while he understood security measures could be expensive, they could prevent incidents like these.
‘‘CCTV definitely helps. I’d also encourage businesses to fortify their shops a bit more,’’ he said.
‘‘These offenders have stepped up from using tools to get inside to smashing glass windows. I’d recommend things like shutters or security screens.’’
The op shop was recently targeted, with a youth, 14, arrested and charged.
This is also the second time Cobram Gift and Cigarette Accessories has been broken into, after a similar incident on Friday, October 19.
Police believe earlier attacks could be related.
Second attack: The front of Cobram Gift and Cigarette Accessories after the break-in.
Can you help? The alleged offenders captured by CCTV during the Wednesday morning crime spree. Anybody with information is urged to contact Cobram police.
Alleged offender: The perpetrator at Cobram Gift and Cigarette Accessories on Friday, October 19.