Business counts cost of vandalism

GRAFFITI vandals have cost a Mount Gambier franchisee thousands of dollars in cleaning and repainting expenses with the outer walls of the business coming under attack several times in the past year.

The last attack on Harvey Norman Mount Gambier was during the early hours of Saturday morning, which franchisee Mitchel Hayes discovered shortly before opening the store for business.

He immediately reported the vandalism to police and called his painter to fix the mess before an influx of customers.

The front and a side wall of the building had been graffitied.

“He was down straight away, we trade on Saturday, so it’s not a good look having that in front of the shop,” Mr Hayes said.

“I was pretty upset.”

With footage captured on the store’s security cameras, Mr Hayes is starting to learn how the offence occurred.

“It’s people who have nothing to do,” he said, explaining they spent about an hour on the property.

“They pulled up in a car at 12.30pm, and turned the car lights on at about 1.30am to drive off,” Mr Hayes said.

He said it was not the first time Harvey Norman had been targeted by vandals.

“We’ve had small graffiti tags around the side of the building two or three times in the past 12 months,” he said. 

It has cost the business thousands of dollars to clean up graffiti.

“We like to keep our building at a high standard, so when it happens we pay for it to be fixed,” Mr Hayes said.

“It’s not cheap.”

Police are investigating the matter.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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