A Burnside mini mart owner whose business has been broken into three times in the past four months is considering leaving the country after the string of violent robberies.
Thieves armed with a hammer smashed through the front doors of the milk bar on March 3 – the third attack on the business since November.
The business owner, who asked not to be named, has joined a chorus of calls by residents asking for more police in nearby Caroline Springs.
“I’m tired and exhausted and I haven’t slept and I can’t eat,” the milk bar owner told
Star Weekly last week. “My family is in Pakistan and they can’t help me when this happens.
“I came to Melbourne to make a life for me and my family and I opened my business in July … but four months after opening, thieves started breaking into my home and my shop.
“This is not life, I tried to find a good life but I haven’t found it so I want to leave.”
Police believe the car used in the robbery, which was captured on camera, was one of two vehicles stolen in a violent home invasion in Kings Park on March 2.
“These thieves are very strong and I was nearly crying I was so scared,” the business owner said.
He said he lost $9000 in cash and cigarettes in the first attack on the Burnside store, on November 22.
The store was also hit on February 4 when a man smashed through the front doors with a crowbar.
Burnside resident Derek Milligan said aggravated burglaries were becoming a weekly occurrence in the Caroline Springs area.
“I can’t even buy a decent car without the fear of putting a target on my home to get robbed these days,” Mr Milligan said.
He said he was disappointed to see so few officers stationed in the area.
Last Tuesday, Victoria Police announced the deployment of 825 additional officers across the state over the next year, starting in May. The Melton service area will get four officers and another seven will be deployed to Caroline Springs in family violence specialist roles.
A total of 300 police are being allocated to areas with the highest need including Wyndham, Melton, Hume and Cardinia while another 93 will take on specialist policing roles and 208 dedicated family violence police.
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said Victoria Police was focused on keeping people safe.
“To do that we need to be the best policing service we can be – agile and responsive to the needs of communities, on the front foot, preventing crime and locking up offenders,” Mr Ashton said.