Thieves nab safe in shopping centre raid

By ZOE SATHERLEY

THE THIEVES came in the dead of night, cutting a hole through the roof of Lismore Shopping Square.

By early yesterday they had carved their way through five shops, getting away with over $17,000 in goods and cash.

As forensic police dusted for fingerprints and searched for clues, shopkeepers and customers gathered to talk about the brazen robbery.

In shop 68, Bras and Things, manager Rae Kelly was incredulous that the bolts holding her steel safe to the floor of the rear store room had been sheared off.

Directly above, a ceiling panel had been removed giving a clear view of the hole in the roof through which it is thought the thieves entered the complex some time between closing time on Sunday and opening time yesterday.

Police from the Crime Scene Investigation Unit, the Special Target Action Group and Lismore detectives were all on the scene yesterday, gathering evidence.

"The robbers obviously came prepared with tools," Ms Kelly said, showing how the shop's cash register had been carved open with a cutting implement.

"They took all of that cash as well as the whole safe, which had a substantial amount of money in it, but didn't touch the clothing.

"Who would know we had a safe in the back room unless they'd seen it? What worries me most is that we have workmen in the roof all of the time.

"I feel quite vulnerable now."

Next door in Shop 69, Vision Eyewear, manager Suzana Sexton was still coming to terms with losing her entire stock of high fashion Bolle sunglasses, valued at over $5000 and a sum of cash.

When she arrived to open the shop, the perspex cabinet displaying the 27 pairs of sunglasses was missing. She found it had been pushed into the rear store room where it was ransacked.

The thieves then went back up through her ceiling, leaving their footprints on a chair, to gain access to other neighbouring shops, Noni B, Roger David and EB Games, where they stole Nintendo and other game consoles and 'gamecube' games.



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