CCTV: sneaky robbers target fast-food outlets
Police want help to identify a man shown in this CCTV recording who might be able to help their investigation.PT0M31S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2b0by 620 349 December 7, 2012
Police are on the hunt for at least three men involved in a series of burglaries, where more than $100,000 was stolen from at least 43 fast food restaurants.
In most cases, police said Nando's franchises were the targets, but Subway outlets were also hit between March and September.
The group has struck in areas including Epping, Knox, Ringwood, Frankston, Mornington and Geelong. They also robbed CBD restaurants on Swanston, Burke and Elizabeth streets.
In each incident, the burglars worked together to help one man enter the store through a sliding door or the roof during the early hours of the morning. He would then crawl across the floor and use a crowbar to dislodge a cash box under the main counter.
Melbourne crime investigation unit Detective Senior Constable Andrew White said a 20-year-old Heidelberg man and a 30-year-old Thomastown man had been arrested and charged. However, they were not cooperating with police or providing information about other co-offenders.
"At this stage we don’t believe there is any connection with anyone employed by Nando's," he said.
"They certainly appear to know what they're doing and have a well-planned and sophisticated method. It only takes them a few seconds to get in the store, remove the cash box, and they're out of the store within a few minutes.
"With some stores they've got up to $15,000 and with other stores there’s been nothing in the safe. If they're unsuccessful in one night, they will hit another restaurant and keep going until they find one with cash kept in it."
Detective Senior Constable White said Nando’s had stopped keeping cash on the premises overnight and had upgraded store security sensors.
Police have released security footage of one of the incidents, and have called on anyone with information to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.