Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Rochester shops burgled

Three shops in Rochester were broken into on the weekend, with theives also attempting to enter the Campaspe News office.

IVY WISE July 8, 2014 3:21am

Rochester Opportunity Shop volunteer David Ralph shows Sergeant Dale Sim of Rochester police the damage.


Business owners have been left out of pocket and violated in a string of burglaries in Rochester early Sunday.

Malee House and Bellus Studio in Mackay St were hit, as well as Rochester Opportunity Shop in Moore St, while offenders attempted to break into Campaspe News in Mackay St.

Malee House shop owner Che-Asana Thotthing lost a large amount of money, including holiday savings, as well as jewellery from her husband.

‘‘Every year I save up for a holiday and it’s all gone,’’ she said.

‘‘They even took my jewellery that my husband gave to me.’’

Thieves broke the front glass door of the shop about 1am to gain entry before ransacking the back residence and Thai massage business, which Mrs Thotthing has owned for the past 10 months.

‘‘Everything was on the floor. I felt terrified when I walked in,’’ she said.

‘‘I work seven days a week for 10 months. I work very hard. Why don’t they (thieves) work instead of stealing from me?

‘‘It makes me depressed, but I have to be strong.’’

Rochester police and Echuca Criminal Investigation Unit are investigating and spent yesterday fingerprinting and processing the scenes.

‘‘We haven’t had anything like this in quite a while,’’ Sergeant Dale Sim of Rochester police said.

‘‘Our real problem of late has been theft from motor cars, so this is different.’’

Offenders broke into the op shop, across from Rochester Hotel, through the kitchen window before ransacking the store, including the cash register.

‘‘There were only a few coins in there,’’ Sgt Sim said.

Shop owner Pat Slattery said she was disappointed that anyone would want to steal from an opportunity shop.

‘‘It’s a bit low,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a bit of a worry when this happens. They even made a mess in the kitchen.

‘‘This is an old building, but we have a good trade.’’

Although nothing was stolen from Bellus Studio, owner Sam Wilson said she would have to spend a couple of hundred dollars replacing the broken window.

‘‘Why don’t these people go out and get a job and earn money like the rest of us?’’ she said.

‘‘Sometimes people think that when you have a business, you have lots of money, but that’s not true.

‘‘I have a lot of expenses and people don’t realise we’re struggling like the rest of the town.’’

Mrs Wilson said her salon was broken into last year, with thieves stealing a large amount of cash.

‘‘That’s why I don’t keep money on the premises,’’ she said.

‘‘They were obviously looking for money, so when they didn’t find any they took off.’’

Sgt Sim urged anyone with information about the burglaries to contact Rochester police on 54841100, Echuca police on 54822255 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.

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