THIEVES smashed their way into eight businesses in Mount Eliza Village early last Thursday morning, walking out with cash registers in full view of passersby.
Mornington Peninsula Crime Investigation Unit detectives are investigating the burglaries, which occurred around 5.30am in Mount Eliza Way and at the strip of shops behind Safeway in Canadian Bay Road.
Witnesses said the two male offenders seemed confident and cocky, with one exiting a Mount Eliza Way shop with a cash register in his arms, allegedly nodding to and greeting a stunned passerby.
Business owner Sam Grove, whose Mount Eliza Way barber shop was targeted, said the attitude of the offenders was disturbing.
“They just didn’t seem to care who saw them, they were in and out so quickly and knew what they were after,” he said.
He said the thefts had hit businesses hard, with all experiencing a slow recovery from the COVID lockdowns.
Groves said more needed to be done to prevent this type of attack on hard working businesses, as they seemed to be happening more often.
“It’s not just Mount Eliza, it’s everywhere, I’m not sure what can be done, but maybe more police patrols, maybe better surveillance and I think the cameras need to be upgraded.”
It is believed it is the second time in weeks that businesses in Mount Eliza have been hit.
Jody Abel, of Herbacious Flowers, was alerted to the intruders by her security system, but the offenders were gone before anyone could get there.
“Police were around the corner but these guys were so quick, they knew what to get and were out in minutes,” she said.
No one was inside the businesses at the time of the incidents.
The men were reportedly driving a black Commodore without number plates.
It is believed several tradesman’s utilities were targeted on the same morning, although it is not clear if the thefts are linked.
Anyone with CCTV/dashcam footage or information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at crimestoppersvic.com.au