By Brendan Rees
Police are on the hunt for bandits who used a stolen car to ram raid a shop at Lynbrook Village Shopping Centre, stealing cigarettes on Thursday 26 September.
Police say the stolen car reversed into the shopping centre off the South Gippsland Highway about 3.40am.
“The occupants have exited the vehicle and stolen cigarettes from a store and then left in another vehicle,” Victoria police spokeswoman Melissa Seach said.
Traders expressed their shock as they arrived to find the entrance to Coles badly damaged.
Paul March, who works at the Lynbrook Vision Centre, said the shopping centre was usually quiet and never really experienced any trouble.
“I was shocked when I saw it – never see any trouble generally,” he said.
“Honestly, I’ve been working here now four years and I find it a very nice shopping centre.”
He added: “Never have any dramas at all – this is a real first.”
Jason Lam, manager of Chemist Discount Centre, said it was the first ram raid he had heard of but added his store was being hit by shoplifters.
“We’re in the middle of trying to employ systems to try stop shoplifting because that’s our big issue here,” he said.
Linda Do, manager of the Lynbrook Bakehouse, said she was shocked to see the broken glass.
She added around December last year, thugs had tried to grab an ATM by smashing windows at the front of Coles.
Coles did not wish to comment on the current incident. Police are investigating.
Meanwhile, police were called to a shopping complex on Cranbourne Road, Frankston about 2am on Thursday, 26 September.
Investigators believe four male offenders reversed a Ford Ranger utility through glass doors and attempted to steal an ATM.