It’s not all bad for La Maison cafe

Wassim Sailba is grateful to an anonymous cash donor who left him a surprise envelope of money after yet another break-in, but wants to hand it back. Picture: DAVID THORPE

Wassim Sailba is grateful to an anonymous cash donor who left him a surprise envelope of money after yet another break-in, but wants to hand it back. Picture: DAVID THORPE

A STRANGER has dug deep to help out a business owner frequently targeted by burglars.

Twenty-four criminal acts have been committed at La Maison Café in the seven years Wassim Saliba has owned the business.

Mr Saliba found an anonymous envelope with cash under the door of the Gateway Island business on Monday following the most recent theft.

He said while he was incredibly grateful for the donation, he did not feel right accepting the money when there were others in need.

“We’d like to meet the person and thank them if we can,” Mr Saliba said.

“My insurance can cover most of the costs of the thefts.

“But I want to thank the people who were so thoughtful.

“The overall response from everybody and the support we’ve had was overwhelming.”

The envelop refers to Mr Saliba by his nickname, Rocky, which makes him think it’s someone he knows.

He does not want to disclose the exact amount donated to him but encouraged the donor to come forward.

“The main thing is that we just want to do the right thing by them and thank them in person,” Mr Saliba said.

About $500 was stolen from the business in the July 26 break in, which was captured on CCTV.

Two men were shown on security cameras, and Wodonga police continue to investigate.

A broken door and flyscreen left about $1000 of damage.

Mr Saliba said he thought it was unlikely the perpetrators had felt guilty and decided to hand back the money.

After the break in last month, he conceded there was little he could do to stop future criminals.

“We could fence the whole place and make it all like a jail, but there’s still going to be those weak points,” he said.

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