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'It was like a bomb went off'

Just some of the damage, looking from the inside.
Just some of the damage, looking from the inside. Contributed

MICHELLE from the Dickson Road Market Café woke up on New Year's Day to a private number she suspected was Golden Casket letting her know she'd just become a millionaire.

But that phone call turned out to be the police asking her to come down to the store at 7.30am.

Earlier that night four thugs wearing hoodies had gone on a rampage destroying every single window in the complex with rocks the size of a football.

"It was like a bomb went off," Michelle (who didn't wish to give her last name) said.

"Every window was smashed to smithereens.

"I had a big cake display here and a rock came through the window, through the side of the cake cabinet, out the other side and hit the wall and bounced back in and the rock was still in there.

"There were glass shavings and shattered glass everywhere; it was just like a war zone."

CCTV footage captured the vandals scoping out the building at around 9.40pm on New Year's Eve with their faces fully showing.

They came back soon wearing hoodies and smashed up the building before going straight for the cash registers.

They didn't manage to take anything valuable, but Karen Vohland, who was first on the scene, said it cost each store in time and effort.

"We were supposed to be trading on Monday, but we just couldn't because they had done so much damage," she said.

"We had to pay professional cleaners to come in. Half of our staff missed a day's work and the other half were shovelling and cleaning when we should have been trading.

"We had to pay wages."

Ms Vohland said the owners are still trying to figure out what happened with their security company, after it failed to send out a phone call when the alarms went off.

"When the alarm goes off the manager gets a phone call, but he didn't get a phone call," she said.

"We know the alarms went off; it's funny because you can see them react in a shock when they went off. Obviously it didn't shock them enough to run away.

"We had no idea; it wasn't until police were notified that they rang me because they needed someone with a set of keys." Police were unable to provide a statement as the investigation continues.

Ms Vohland said the store has previously had trouble with squatters using a building behind the complex, but there was no way to tell if it had anything to do with this.

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