STAFF at a Mount Eliza florist were terrified when they spied an intruder lurking in the darkness early on Mother’s Day morning.
Abricot Mornington Florist manager Matilda Alievski said the unidentified man shining a torch seemed to avoid CCTV cameras behind the Mount Eliza Way shop Saturday 9 May as he made his way slowly towards the back door (pictured).
He was wearing a hoodie, beanie, gloves and boots, and covering his face.
“Our staff were working inside the shop trying to get our orders ready and we saw this man on our cameras and immediately panicked,” Ms Alievski said.
“We were so frightened as we could see that he was getting closer in his attempts to break in.
“We had our lights on in the whole shop and this man knew we were in there; it seems we were being targeted. Luckily, we saw him on our cameras and our male staff member managed to scare him away.
“We reported the incident to police.”
Ms Alievski said her son, 24, writing Mother’s Day cards and checking orders upstairs, saw movement on the CCTV monitor and raised the alarm.
“He saw the man trying to break into the back door and started screaming and came running downstairs to protect us,” Ms Alievski said.
“He was shouting to the man to get out and that he was calling the cops.”
The staff left for their homes when the coast was clear but Ms Alievski said she hardly slept worrying about the incident. “We returned at 6am to find that the man had been back, possibly at 4.30am, and been inside the cool room.
“He had taken flowers ordered by our customers and ruined them by trashing them and snapping them onto the grass,” she said.
“These flowers were orders for Mother’s Day and so we had nothing to give our customers.
“It seems the man didn’t come to steal, but do damage. We don’t understand why. It is disgusting that someone can do this to us.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Mornington police 5970 4900 or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.