SHOES valued up to $20,000 were stolen in an elaborate burglary at a Warrnambool sports store during the weekend.
Thieves cut a hole in the roof of the Sportspower store at the north end of Liebig Street overnight Friday before cutting through plaster sheets.
They then draped material over sensors and cameras before stealing about 90 pairs of Nike and Asics sports shoes valued between $15,000 and $20,000.
Detective Senior Constable Wayne Ryan, of the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit, said offenders gained access to a roof near the rear of The Standard office on Raglan Parade before walking across adjoining rooftops to gain access to Sportspower.
The burglary occurred between 11pm Friday and 1.30am Saturday.
He said it appeared the thieves had parked a vehicle in a private laneway on the east side of The Standard building which links Raglan Parade to Lava Street through a car park.
“We would like to speak to anyone who saw a vehicle either coming or going at 11pm or 1.30am,” he said.
“This burglary was obviously very well planned and organised.
‘‘The offenders knew the layout of the store and how the shoes were displayed.
‘‘Somebody has to know something.”
Detective Senior Constable Ryan said he did not expect the shoes would be sold locally, but taken to Melbourne or interstate.
“Our focus is that vehicle parked near The Standard late Friday night, early Saturday morning.
‘‘Anyone who saw anything in that area or who has knowledge about the burglary is requested to contact the Warrnambool police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000,” he said.
Colac police detectives investigated two similar break-ins during June.
About 11pm on a Sunday night in mid-June, offenders cut a hole in the roof of Mower Corner on Murray Street opposite the McDonald’s restaurant.
They pulled back the roofing iron to gain entry, then searched the building and moved items about in preparation to be removed from the premises but nothing was stolen, Detective Senior Constable Ryan said.
‘‘It is possible the offenders were disturbed.”
About a fortnight before, offenders also gained entry to Sportspower on Murray Street through the roof, although once again nothing was stolen.
Meanwhile, police are investigating a number of other burglaries in the past few days.
Offenders broke into the Norton Ford administration offices on Raglan Parade overnight Saturday.
Acting Sergeant Dave McPhail said police were called at 4am after the thieves forced entry and ransacked the office.
He said staff were still in the process of assessing if anything was stolen.
In Hamilton, a fish and chip shop on the corner of Ballarat Road and Riley Street was broken in to on Saturday night.
Offenders smashed their way through the glass front door using a steel pipe.
Detective Sergeant Mark James, of the Hamilton police crime investigation unit, said police did not believe anything was stolen.
A hole was smashed in a window at the VicRoads office, next door to the fish and chip shop, in Riley Street.
Detective Sergeant James said police were reviewing CCTV footage.
Burglars also forced entry to an engineering workshop in French Street overnight on Saturday but nothing appeared to be stolen.
Thieves also cut a padlocked roller door to break into the BP service station at the intersection of Hamilton’s French and Cox streets overnight on Thursday, stealing a $500 24-volt Trade Quip air impact wrench.