Thieves dish up cafe pain

TWENTY-four incidents of criminal damage, attempted break-ins and burglaries would drive any business owner to distraction.

For Gateway Island restaurant owner, Wassim Saliba, it has now gone beyond anger and shock to sheer despondency.

The latest burglary, where two large men kicked in the front door of his cafe and fled with about $500, happened within 35 seconds.

Security cameras are not deterring the thieves, nor are conventional locks and flywire screen doors.

Mr Saliba says even with the security measures he has taken, those who want to commit a crime remain determined to do so and continue to get away with it.

That has meant not only ongoing monetary losses but also the cost of repairs and insurance claims.

Aside from fencing the entire restaurant, he says the only alternative now is to compromise the rustic feel of the building and install a steel security door.

The La Maison cafe is one of the Border’s most popular venues, favoured by locals and visitors alike for its location, service and fare.

What a shame that popularity is now compromised by those criminals who should be exposed and punished for their behaviour.