By Gabriella Payne
A number of local businesses have been targeted by thieves in recent weeks, and the Cardinia Lakes Shopping Centre has now become the latest casualty.
Senior Sergeant Jason Owen from the Cardinia Crime Investigation Unit said that police were currently investigating the break in, which appeared to have happened in the early hours of Monday 20 September.
“It looks like at least two offenders have forced entry to the shopping centre,” Snr Srgt Owen said.
“It appears they’ve entered through some sliding doors and once inside, they’ve broken into three businesses.”
Snr Srgt Owen said that the thieves had stolen both cash and alcohol from the three businesses before making a get away.
One of the businesses targeted by the thieves was beloved local cafe, Urban Hype, who (like many others) have been unable to operate as usual during the lockdown.
Locals took to the Facebook Pakenham Noticeboard to share their dismay at the news, and offer their support to the friendly cafe.
“To the a***hats who broke into numerous shops this morning – keep your sticky fingers to yourselves,” wrote Cristy Simmons, a concerned resident.
“As if small business isn’t hard enough.”
Ms Simmons wrote that Urban Hype’s owners were “under the pump” but were absolute “troopers” who were continuing to serve their customers during these difficult times – and she encouraged anyone who could to go in an support them if possible.
Snr Srgt Owen said that another robbery had occurred over the weekend at Pakenham Market Place shopping centre, with a “very similar” MO.
He said that police were currently investigating whether there was any connection between the two incidents.
Anyone with any further information about either incident is urged to get in contact with the Pakenham police on 5945 2500, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.