A man has been charged after allegedly committing multiple burglaries at a Beechworth business already struggling with a downturn in trade during the pandemic.
The 38-year-old man, who has previously been a customer at the Hibernian Hotel, allegedly targeted the Camp Street venue twice on Thursday, in the early hours of Monday morning, and on the fourth of June.
While the Beechworth man allegedly only took alcohol from the venue, owner Peter Girven said he left smashed glass and damaged locks in his wake.
"We've probably spent about $1200 in repairs and changes for a minor amount of thefts," he said.
He drank the first lot he took, then came back an hour-and-a-half later for moreHibernian Hotel owner Peter Girven
"It probably wouldn't have been $200 worth of stuff that he took."
Wodonga detectives arrested and questioned the man on Thursday.
He was charged with four counts of burglary and theft and was bailed.
Mr Girven said Jim Beam and cola, and rum cans, had been taken.
"He drank the first lot he took, then came back an hour-and-a-half later for more," he said of one of the recent break-ins.
"There was nothing else he touched.
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"He's caused a fair bit of damage, breaking glass and smashing locks."
Mr Girven said the pandemic had hit his business, with the burglaries an additional cost.
Newly installed video cameras captured the alleged offender during the incidents.
"Things were just starting to pick up again, then Melbourne shut down," he said.
"Beechworth always gets a fair bit of tourism up from Melbourne.
"We've seen our bookings for accommodation and food cancelled.
"It was already having an impact.
"It's tough on the budget."
The 38-year-old will return to the Wodonga Magistrates Court on November 24.
Meanwhile Beechworth officers are encouraging people to secure their bikes.
Sergeant Domenica Hunkin said there had been a spate of thefts in recent months, ranging from cheap bicycles to expensive ones.
She dismissed talk of a "gang" committing the offences.
"We just want the public to be vigilant, to lock up their belongings and report anything suspicious in the area."