Calculated attack on Yamba bakery
By PETER ELLEM
YAMBA Beachside Bakery owner Wayne 'Crackers' Aitken does not have a beef with anyone in the world.
Mr Aitken employs eight locals and is a generous businessman, discounting or donating bread and pies to schools or community groups.
But someone definitely has a set on him because unknown persons early yesterday morning hurled three half bricks at his reinforced front door and through two glass windows.
When his staff arrived for their regular 2am to 8am baking shift, they also found that one of the bricks had smashed a cake fridge near the front counter.
Peculiarly still, three envelopes had been stuffed in the holes of the bricks. One contained a threatening message and a gold coin. Police now are fingerprinting the crude missiles.
Mr Aitken, who has lived in Yamba for 20 years and was a bricklayer before buying the bakery three years ago, is at a loss for the motive behind the vandalism.
The only theory he can come up with is that his staff refused a large number of drunk males' appeals for hot pies in the early hours of Sunday morning and some may have returned a day later to exact some retribution.
''I built half of Yamba and did a lot of free bricklaying for the community before my back packed it in, but this isn't the old Yamba I know and it's getting worse,'' Mr Aitken said.
''Heaps of young guys are roaming around, drunk and bored. They are getting off on wrecking things ... and most shops have felt the brunt of it two, three or four times.
''Just this past weekend, several pay phones have been ripped out and most of the wheelie bins were emptied in the middle of Yamba Street.''
Mr Aitken called on Clarence Valley Council to install security cameras, saying he was sure a majority of businesses would pay a levy towards the cost.
He lost a day's trading because of the attack and is offering a $200 reward for information leading to an arrest. The public can phone Mr Aitken on 6646 8120 during business hours, Yamba police on 6646 2000 or Crimes- toppers on 1800 333 000.