DESIGNER brand sunglasses and other various frames worth more than $17,000 in total were stolen from an optometrist in Yarrawonga yesterday.
A thief smashed the front door of the Sandra Heaney clinic on Piper Street at 2am and stole a number of Maui Jim and Oroton sunglasses, along with prescription frames.
An alarm was triggered but the thief left the scene before Ms Heaney arrived.
The stand used to display the glasses was later found at Yarrawonga Primary School.
Detective Sgt Marcus Boyd said police had identified a suspect from closed circuit television footage.
The offender is described as about 175 centimetres tall with a medium build and was wearing a black tracksuit with an Adidas emblem on the top and a baseball cap.
Sgt Boyd said they were investigating whether the crime was linked to the incident at the Benalla Road Caltex station last week.
“We’ve got an open mind at this stage,” he said.
“We can’t say whether it is linked but with these types of crimes we never say never.”
Optical technician Andrew Banks said the robbery had made things stressful.
“It’s a hassle you don’t need — I’ve been talking to locals wondering what is going on with the break-ins, but we just feel violated,” Mr Banks said.
The business has been operating for 15 years and has been broken into on three different premises.
“Previously people were looking for cash so this is the first time we’ve had any damage or anything taken,” Mr Banks said.
“It’s hard to believe somebody would do something like that and everybody is a bit on edge.”
He said they would now look into improving security and lighting.
Sgt Boyd said police would investigate whether another person was involved in the robbery because the display stand was heavy.
Police believed the thief targeted the premises because sunglasses could be re-sold.
“Designer sunglasses are a commodity which can be easily disposed of,” Sgt Boyd said.
“If there becomes a market to off-load stolen sunglasses we will become aware of it.”
He said Cobram and Yarrawonga police were working around the clock to solve recent burglaries in the area and encouraged the public to come forward.
“Only the public can give us the clues to solving these types of crimes and if we can do that then the people in the community will be able to live in peace,” he said.
The police will checking markets and any other potential outlets.
Anyone who saw a suspicious character near the optometrist or is offered cheap sunglasses should phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Cobram detectives on (03) 5871 2866.