THIRTY commercial premises have been robbed in less than a month, according to ACT police, who have had to bring in members from every Canberra police station for an ACT-wide investigation.
Between September 8 until today (September 25) 30 businesses such as hair dressers, barber shops and supermarkets were robbed.
Police say one vehicle was involved in a “ram-raid” style offence and, overnight, police believe that the vehicle was recovered in an inner southern suburb of Canberra.
Since the beginning of the year, Canberra has had 99 aggravated burglaries to date, which means about one third of aggravated robberies for the year were seen in the past few weeks.
“We are treating this very seriously obviously. The Criminal Investigations Crime Disruptions Team is working hard on this and because it is an ACT-wide problem, we brought in members from each of the police stations along with road policing with dedicated intel support,” says criminal investigations targeting manager, detective acting inspector Mark Steel.
“The biggest annoyance for police is the damage that’s been done to these premises in gaining entry. On multiple occasions they’ve broken in and left with little, so the cost to business owners far outweighs the loss of any property taken.
“The damage to these businesses is in the thousands of dollars, and in some cases the offenders have left with property of little value.”
Mr Steel says the burglars are targeting all suburban centres, not just industrial areas.
Police have spoken to witnesses and are reviewing CCTV footage from these incidents, and Mr Steel says there may be people with key information yet to come forward.
“The people committing these offences often set off alarms and make a hasty getaway in the early hours of the morning. This kind of offending is brazen and should stick out on any CCTV or dash-cam footage,” he says.
“If anyone has footage from their premises or vehicle that they believe may assist us in identifying these people, please come forward. Any information you can provide is enormously important to our investigation, it could be the key we need to make an arrest.”
Detective acting inspector Steel also says there are a number of inexpensive ways ACT businesses can deter burglars and secure their businesses such as effective CCTV and alarm systems.
Small shops can consider teaming up with neighbouring businesses to develop security measures which benefit the group, he says.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website quoting reference number 6633102.