Dive Inn Shop owner Mark Woodgate urges businesses to upgrade security after a $20,000 theft at his store. 090105LP07 Picture: LEANNE PICKETTA WARRNAMBOOL business- man who was robbed of almost $20,000 worth of stock is urging other city store owners to upgrade their security systems.Suspected abalone poachers broke in to Mark Woodgate’s Dive Inn shop early Sunday morning before leading police on a high-speed car chase which reached 170kmh along the Great Ocean Road.Mr Woodgate is surprised many Warrnambool small business have limited or no security.He said within one minute of the break-in, four police cars were dispatched and were at the Raglan Parade shop within two minutes.”You can’t take second chances with security,” Mr Woodgate told The Standard yesterday.”It literally saves you thousands of dollars. It helped us get a speedy response from police, which resulted in more evidence collected and hopefully it will lead to a conviction.”I’ve talked to a few other small-business owners and they have told me they have no security and that they have just been lucky, which I find really surprising.”Warrnambool Criminal Investigation Unit Detective Senior Constable Marty Neagle also urged regional store owners to step-up security.”CCTV (closed circuit television) is the way to go,” Detective Senior Constable Neagle said. “We have made leads into the identity of the people who hired the vehicle. “The identity of one of the hirers has lead us to believe that he has previously been involved in illegal abalone poaching.”Mr Woodgate said the bandits could only take about 20 wetsuits and several dive tanks, located within three metres from the front door.”The alarm went off straight away and as a result they didn’t have time to get the more expensive items further down the shop.”The thieves escaped in a hired 2007 white Toyota Corolla, with Queensland registration KNK-488.Police were forced to end the car chase on the Great Ocean Road near Allansford after dangerously high speeds were reached.People with information should contact Warrnambool Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.