THIEVES swept through Barnawartha early yesterday, stealing goods from three businesses and creating thousands of dollars in damage.
The post office was one of three businesses hit, along with the Barnawartha General Store and a takeaway shop.
Post office owner Glenn Smith said the burglars caused extensive damage to his shop and their actions had shattered the community.
“They forced entry through the front door, breaking the glass and damaging the frame,” he said.
“They did a good number on the shop.
“We suffered more fin-ancial damage physically to the shop than by the goods stolen.”
The post office was open yesterday and Mr Smith was overwhelmed by community support which had brought him to tears.
“We were three or four hours late in opening but we were still trading, they can’t steal that from me,” he said.
“We had students from Barnawartha Primary School bring in letters of support from the kids, saying how much the post office and shop mean to the town and they hoped police catch the naughty people who did it.”
An undisclosed amount of money was stolen from the post office, as well as cigarettes and money from the general store.
More than $15,000 in goods were stolen from the general store.
Owner Rod Hawking said the ATM had received the worst of the damage.
“They did minimal damage to the store, except for the ATM, which they made a mess of,” he said.
“Luckily they did not gain access to the ATM.”
Mr Hawking said the thieves also stole a laptop from the takeaway shop.