Dras­tic bid to de­ter thieves

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - MADURA MCCOR­MACK

A TOWNSVILLE busi­ness owner has taken the ex­tra­or­di­nary step of strip­ping his store of cash, in a bid to de­ter re­lent­less thieves from break­ing in.

Garry Teitz, long- time owner of Twin Cities Pool Sup­plies, has made his Aitken­vale out­let cash­less.

He said brazen thieves had bro­ken in at least three times in re­cent months, both dur­ing open­ing hours and at night.

“The last time they stole the Eft­pos ma­chine, the NBN mo­dem and the phone,” Mr Teitz said.

“So we no longer have the NBN or the phone, worth it.

“It’s like ev­ery­thing in Townsville, the crime is just go­ing up. Noth­ing is be­ing done about it.”

Brent Pol­lard, who runs the Aitken­vale store, said most cus­tomers paid by card but a few had been shocked by the change.

“But they un­der­stand why when it’s ex­plained to them,” he said.

“[ I feel] an­noyed when I come into work and we’ve been bro­ken into again.”

Mr Teitz, who has two other stores in West End and on Mag­netic Is­land, said he al­ways had a crow­bar nearby when work­ing at the Aitken- it’s not vale branch. “They ( the thieves) come in dur­ing open­ing hours… they walk in when ( Brent) is in the toi­let,” he said. “I don’t seem to have any con­trol ( of the store).”

Mr Teitz has been in busi­ness for 35 years and said he wasn’t afraid of los­ing cus­tomers due to the switch to ex­clu­sively cash­less pay­ment.

Re­cently re­leased crime sta­tis­tics re­vealed there have been 2840 un­law­ful en­try of­fences in Townsville this year, in­clud­ing 1195 cases of shop steal­ing.

This is an in­crease of about 9 per cent and 12 per cent re­spec­tively from the same time frame last year.

CRIME TAR­GET: Brent Pol­lard from Twin Cities Pool Sup­plies. Pic­ture: EVAN MOR­GAN

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