VANDALS targeted one of the Border’s longest-standing Chinese restaurants in an attack its owner has labelled as “senseless”.
About $2000 in damage was caused when two of Dragon Court Chinese’s red and yellow neon signs, one on High Street and the other in a lane at the restaurant’s entrance, were smashed between 12am and 1am on Sunday.
It’s not of the same scale as a series of burglaries four years ago where the business was broken into and cash and alcohol were stolen three times in a matter of five weeks.
But, owner Anthony Yap said, the vandalism hurts just as much.
“It’s really annoying,” Mr Yap, 44, said.
“It seems so senseless ... it will effect the business.”
He said insurance will cover most of the cost of the damage, with the business footing the excess bill and an increase in insurance premiums.
He said, once again, he will have to spend money on increasing security.
The burglaries four years ago prompted him to install security cameras inside the restaurant and, now, he will be putting up cameras on the outside of the building as well.
“It’s another added cost we certainly don’t need,” Mr Yap said.
Mr Yap took over the restaurant from his father David Yap after the Malaysian-born man moved from Melbourne to Wodonga and opened the business 35 years ago.
Take-away trade at the shop has remained steady, but less people are coming in to have a sit-down meal.
“It’s pretty rare these days to get a lot of people out,” Mr Yap said.
“It’s tough to make a dollar.”
Husband-and-wife Bernie and Christine Allan run 35-year-old Bernie’s Auto Spares in the same block.
Shop-lifting is their most irksome crime.
“It hasn’t got any better, they were still stealing then ... When you see a pram, they’re the worst. You can put things in the pram and if there’s a crying kid whose going to do anything?” Mr Allan said.
But installing security cameras five years ago has helped with the petty crime that they said was an unfortunate reality of running a shop.
Wodonga police Sgt Shane Martin asked anyone with any information in relation to the vandalism to phone police on (02) 6049 2600 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.