BURGLARS have left a trail of destruction across the south-west, hitting four businesses yesterday morning and causing thousands of dollars damage.
The break-ins at businesses in Port Fairy, Mortlake and Warrnambool are believed to be the work of the same culprits, according to police.
Sergeant Cameron Ross, of Warrnambool police, said the crime spree was first detected when the thieves triggered an alarm at Elders in Mortlake at 4.15am yesterday.
He said the culprits forced their way in through the front door and then gained access to a safe, making off with between $3000 and $4000.
The burglars then headed to Warrnambool and broke into Dominos at Centro about 5am.
Entry was gained by smashing a section of a glass door, again triggering an alarm, and the thieves escaped with only a few soft drinks.
At 5.15am, a similar break-in occurred at the Morriss Road Milk Bar, where the culprits again forced their way in through a glass door and attempted to steal cigarettes but were unsuccessful. Sergeant Ross said they made off with some drinks, lollies and a couple of charity collection tins.
Another alarm was triggered at Leske’s Jewellers in Port Fairy at 5.40am when a window was smashed and a jewellery display was taken. The value of the jewellery stolen was unknown.
Sergeant Ross said the burglars were believed to have been travelling in a white dual cab ute, which had been reported stolen on Friday in Portland and was recovered yesterday about 10.15am in the Portland area.
“There were items from each of the burglaries in the motor vehicle,” he said.
The ute was being searched for further evidence, adding to the accumulation of evidence picked up at the crime scenes.
Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact Warrnambool police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.