By Brendan Rees
A family-run wig shop in Tooradin that is dedicated to helping chemotherapy patients has been left devastated after their shop was raided in the early hours of Wednesday 22 July.
Peter Sera, co-owner of Hair Ware Fashion, said his wife had opened the store at Southland Gippsland Highway to find ponytails, halos, clip-ins, hair wefts and taped extensions, crystals and jewellery stolen.
The intruders also took off with a digital video recorder containing all the store’s security camera footage as well as a till containing about $100.
An estimated $20,000 worth of stock was taken.
“It’s a bit of a kick in the guts,” Mr Sera said.
“They just smashed through the back door … there was all stock strewn over the floor, crystals and stuff like that.
“They dropped a lot of the change out of the till.
“My wife and daughter put so much effort into the place and then they bloody come in and destroy it.”
Mr Sera said fortunately security cameras at a tattoo business next door had captured a female “kicking” the back door in, which had been handed to police.
A balaclava was also found on the ground at the back of the salon, he said.
According to Mr Sera, the female caught on camera was the “splitting image” of a customer who had attended their shop in the past and had retrieved a name of the person in question from Facebook.
He added a car that appeared to be a silver Ford four-wheel-drive was seen on footage driving down South Gippsland Highway before turning right to the back of their salon.
Mr Sera said the break-in was a heartbreaking blow to their business which didn’t aim to make great profits, but were luckily covered “enough” by insurance.
“All the money we do here goes back into buying stock for people with chemo,” he said.
“My wife enjoys it when people going through chemo go out with a beautiful look and they love it.
“It’s is what it is, we’ve got to keep going. As long as we can service our chemo people we’re happy.”
Along with the back door being smashed, Mr Sera said the intruders also smashed a security camera monitor and damaged shelves during the raid which happened sometime between 2am and 4am.
Victoria Police are investigating the incident.
“Investigators have been told offenders entered a business on South Gippsland Highway sometime during the night,” a Victoria Police spokesperson said.
“Investigators are currently investigating the exact circumstances surrounding the incident and the investigation is ongoing.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.