The owner of a NSW South Coast cafe, which had between $10,000 and $15,000 worth of goods stolen on Friday, 28 May, said it’s another blow after the Black Summer bushfires and COVID-19 lockdowns.
Amanda Sellick went to the storeroom at Three66 Espresso Bar in Lilli Pilli, near Batemans Bay, at about 11:30 am on Saturday, 29 May, and found it empty.
She said all of the food her staff prepared for the ACT long weekend, as well as coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks, were gone.
The thieves also stole a trailer and firewood from the cafe, which they took 500 metres to Mosquito Bay and set on fire along with the coffee.
Ms Sellick’s coffee supplier drove down from Sydney to restock the cafe for the long weekend, however staff weren’t able to recover the stolen food.
“All our prep was in there, things such as burger patties we made ready for the weekend and all our seafood,” she said. “So that’s stuff we can’t sell.”
“It’s just odd, very odd, and it’s a setback to have all our stock stolen on a long weekend.”
The thieves also broke the lock on the storeroom door and stole the key to the cafe’s freezer after locking it, which meant Ms Sellick had to pay for a locksmith on Saturday.
“It’s very stressful when you have all your stock ready to go,” she said.
Ms Sellick told customers on Monday the cafe would stay open until everything was sold out.
“People have been very understanding,” she said.
NSW Police had its forensics team at the cafe on Monday and have told Ms Sellick they believe the offenders are locals.
“A lot of people have been coming forward with information and they all identify the same group of people,” she said.
If you have CCTV footage of Mosquito Bay or saw anything suspicious on Friday night, contact Batemans Bay Police Station on 02 4472 0099 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.