A 32-year-old man has been charged with burglary and theft after stealing numerous items from a motorbike shop in Bunyip earlier this month.
Ciniworx Motorcycles was forced to shut shop following a burglary about 3am on 4 June, and has lost almost three weeks’ business as a result.
Police said the 32-year-old Drouin offender smashed the front door to gain entry to the premises, stealing a number of items including a motorbike helmet, gloves, handle bars, a laptop and motorbike clothes to the value of more than $1000.
Sergeant Philip Delaney said the man had also attempted to steal a motorbike, but had been unsuccessful.
Police conducted a search warrant on a Drouin address and recovered all of the stolen items.
Ciniworx manager Sherrall Cini said she had suffered psychological stress from the ordeal.
“I was going to close the business altogether, but we have a commercial lease so we’ve had to sit it out,” she said.
“Our regular customers and the community have been really supportive, saying not to let it get to us and not to close down.”
Ciniworx had only moved from Pakenham to its new Bunyip site in April this year.
Ms Cini said the offender had regularly frequented the store.
“It’s difficult enough trying to run a small business and to settle in to a new area, and just as we had come to establish ourselves out here, this happens,” Ms Cini said.
“Once our shop’s repaired and we finish off some maintenance and security works, we’ll be re-opening. But I still don’t feel comfortable. I feel like I can’t trust anyone anymore.
“We’ve taken a bit of a blow financially to be closed all this time. It’s been quite a setback.”
While unable to operate from the shop front, Ciniworx have continued to offer free local pick ups for service and repair work to dirt bikes and other farm vehicles.
They have also offered to meet regular customers at the post office to deliver motorcycle parts.
Ciniworx plans to install additional deadbolts and surveillance cameras before re-opening their shop front in July.
The Drouin man has been bailed to appear at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 26 July.
Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.