'Traumatic': Couple's pain as shop overrun by thieves
DUNCAN and Jodi McLelland have been operating the Yeppoon newsagencies for four years now, but never have they experienced theft this bad before.
The business owners are at a loss as to how to stop shoplifters taking items from their store, which has spiked to almost daily occurrences in the past week across several Yeppoon stores.
Mr McLelland told The Morning Bulletin yesterday that he and his staff are fed up.
"We feel it's jumped to a new level, it's gotten out of control," he said.
"Some of these people are repeat offenders. So one guy has been prosecuted twice for stealing our Guide Dog charity donation box, attempting to do it a third time on the weekend, and is the same guy who snatched a bag yesterday."
But one woman who the business owners are extremely wary of and has been banned from their store previously, pushed them to post CCTV footage of her on Facebook overnight, receiving over 16,000 views in less than 12 hours.
The woman appears to be peering into the closed shop front for several moments.
"I guess for us, our message is, we're fed up and want people and other businesses to be aware of who is in our community," Mr McLelland said.
"Some staff have been through traumatic experiences. They're on full alter now. We've had to put extra staff on because if it."
Having reported all of their incidences to police, Mr McLelland wanted to stress how much he valued his customers and the Yeppoon community.
"We love our region and we like to welcome locals and visitors and encourage them to shop locally," he said.
"And that's what we should be focusing on, not just a few bad people who ruin it for the rest of us."