Thieves ransack Echuca’s IGA, cause $5000 damage

August 09, 2017

Damage caused in the office of the Echuca IGA.

Echuca IGA owner Lance Mitchell with the damaged safe.

AN EARLY morning burglary at Echuca IGA has left the supermarket about $5000 out of pocket.

And has got the owner wondering if trying to salvage the business is really worth it.

Two thieves gained access to the roof of the shop, on the corner of Ogilvie Ave and Haverfield St, by climbing up an unoccupied building next door about 2am on Sunday.

‘‘They’ve lifted some corrugated iron sheeting to get access to the roof cavity and then entered the administration office,’’ Detective Sergeant Darren Dean of Campaspe Criminal Investigation Unit said.

Once in the office, they stole computers and a small amount of cash — the floats for the next day’s trading.

IGA owner Lance Mitchell said it was disappointing.

‘‘They have put us out of pocket for a while — about $5000 in damage and stolen goods,’’ he said.

‘‘They took all the computers from upstairs ... there’s holes in the roof and they made a bloody mess.

‘‘The cash they stole was minimal, it was mainly the damage.’’

The burglary is another blow to Mr Mitchell, who also owns Elmore IGA which was broken into two weeks ago.

‘‘They caused about $3000 worth of damage,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s very disheartening. It makes you wonder why you do it.’’

Mr Mitchell said he had been trying to get the Echuca IGA off the ground since taking over ownership about 19 months ago.

‘‘We’re trying to rebuild it and get the customer loyalty back so it’s disheartening when you’re trying to turn something around.’’

Echuca detectives are investigating the burglary and with no suspects, they are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Det. Sgt Dean said because the offenders entered through the roof, the security alarm was not activated.

‘‘At that time of night, it is very still and quiet, so if anyone is aware of any suspicious activity or cars around this area, we would ask them to contact us,’’ Det. Sgt Dean said.

Anyone with information can contact Echuca police on 54831500 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.

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