A Wodonga car wash will be almost $10,000 out of pocket following a burglary on Monday night.
Thieves smashed through the front window of Aussie Superior Car Wash on High Street at some point between 4pm and Tuesday morning, gaining entry to the office and breaking into the safe.
Manager Brett Nance said not only had the offenders made off with $3000 in cash out of the safe, but had left him and the owners with a massive repair job.
“I have no idea how they broke into the safe – they’ve worked on it with hammers and screw-drivers,” he said.
“They’ve taken keys, so we will have to pay to have the locks changed.
“They have also damaged the change machine – it looks like they had got into it knowing what to do and not only stole the change but the actual dispenser, the whole guts of the machine.
“That will cost a couple grand to fix.”
To make matters worse, the business will have no choice but to lose further revenue to increase security.
We've had vandalism before, but nothing like thisAussie Superior Car Wash manager Brett Nance
Mr Nance said the garage housing the enclosed office had roller doors, which were usually left open so pet owners could access the adjacent dog wash after hours – but those doors would now be locked once staff clock off at 4pm.
“It’s a shame because so many people come in during the afternoon to wash their dogs, particularly during daylight savings – I have driven past and seen people there at 11pm,” he said.
“Those washes have been booming on the weekend.
“We are going to have to lock them up and just make the place sturdier, and the owners are looking at a better security system.
“In the window they smashed through, there’s a sign that says a security system is installed.”
Aussie Superior Car Wash is one of the longest-running in Wodonga and has been under the same ownership for more than a decade.
Mr Nance, who has been with the business for two years, said the break-in was the worst that has occurred in that time.
“We’ve had vandalism before – about four years ago the chip and drink machine was damaged – but nothing like this,” he said.
“We work bloody hard and I don’t rip people off, so I expect people not to rip me off in return.
“It would be great if the community can get behind us and come in.”
Anyone with information about the break-in should call Wodonga police on (02) 6049 2600.