HEARTLESS thieves have smashed their way into a local pizza joint – taking hundreds of dollars from the store’s charity box.
The three offenders broke into Armidale Pizza Capers at around 2am on Tuesday. But it wasn’t until after 7am that store owner Adam Hayes arrived to find police waiting.
“I dropped the pizza car back in the morning and local police were there waiting for me,” Mr Hayes said.
“We looked at the CCTV and as soon as they [offenders] got into the store they ripped the charity box off the counter.
“[The box] was quite full and I think that was the focus of what they were after.”
The charity box collects money for a variety of local initiatives.
“The most recent donation was to a local community member who had a brain injury,” he said.
Mr Hayes said thieves also got away with money from the staff’s tip jar and the float.
“They smashed the computers, stole the tip jar and some money out of the float,” he said.
“They took a crowbar to the safe … they haven’t been able to get into the safe but they’ve stuffed it.
“We’re only a tiny little team that work up there and the fact that they stole the tip jar … it’s a bit shit really.”
An owner of three businesses, Mr Hayes said he had never been robbed before.
“I’ve owned Pizza Capers just under 18 months,” he said. “Nothing like this has happened before.”
“It’s hard to say whether it’s an impulse crime or whether it was the fact that they could see the charity box.
“To be honest the money from the float we can replace, we can fix the safe and the store but that money stolen from the charity box and tip jar is not my money.”
Inspector Matthew Hemsworth told The Express investigations were already underway on Tuesday morning.
“The forensics are examining the scene today [Tuesday] and the CCTV will also be examined,” Inspector Hemsworth said.
Investigations are continuing and police urge anyone with information to contact Armidale Police Station on (02) 6771 0699 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.