Thieves 'scum of earth'
ROD Macleod reckons whoever has been breaking into the businesses at Salt Village is “scum”.
Mr Macleod's gift shop, Salt Galleria, is one of seven shops on Bells Boulevard to be hit by late-night thieves in the past two weeks.
But while he lost money from his till, it was hearing that charity boxes were stolen from other businesses that really made his blood boil.
“These people are the scum of the earth,” Mr Macleod said. “They are taking money from the disadvantaged like the seeing-eye dogs and the surf life saving clubs.
“They should be ashamed of themselves.”
The Fins, Sea Salt and Mahsuri Thai restaurants also had their front windows smashed and cash registers raided, while Salt Bean Espresso Bar suffered damage to its front doors, but no one got inside.
It is understood the Saltbar was also targeted.
Mr Macleod no longer leaves cash on the premises at night, after $200 was stolen from his till.
Fins manager Morgan Frazer said she was worried about her safety after the restaurant was robbed in the early hours of Wednesday.
“I work until late - what if something happened?” Ms Frazer said. “This place is like a ghost town at night.
“It took the police two hours to get here from Tweed. I understand they are short-staffed, but what if there was an incident?”
Ms Frazer said the thieves stole cash, alcohol and computer equipment from the registers that they wouldn't be able to use.
“We probably had $2000 worth of stock stolen,” she said.
“It's frustrating because it's going to be expensive to replace.”
Robyn Cheach from Mahsuri Thai also fears for her safety and that of her staff, after her restaurant was ransacked last week.
Jack Ray, from the Ray Group, which owns several businesses in the village, said they were investigating extra security measures.
He said closed-circuit television cameras and roaming security guards were options being considered.
“We're really concerned. We acknowledge that there's a problem,” Mr Ray said.
Police have taken fingerprints from a number of Salt businesses.
Tweed/Byron crime prevention officer Senior Constable Andrew Eppelstun said police were on hand to talk to business owners should they need advice about security.
He recommended not leaving cash on the premises, installing alarms and utilising private security companies.