Kabra Hotel's Johanna Lidster.
Kabra Hotel's Johanna Lidster. Allan Reinikka ROK23041akabrapub

'I knew the day would come': CQ publican angered by break in

IT WAS a day she knew would come, but Kabra publican Johanna Lidster is still fuming that her pub was broken into overnight.

When she heard the security alarm go off at 1am yesterday, her first thought was a gecko had again triggered the sensor.

It was when she opened the door to the pub and saw her office door had been kicked down and the bathroom door closing she knew she wasn't alone.

"We were so close to catching them,” she said.

"As soon as I opened the back door I knew there were people inside.”

Watching the CCTV footage, Johanna was able to determine three people were responsible for the break-in.

CASH TAKEN: Kabra Hotel publican Johanna Lidster surveys the damage to her office.
CASH TAKEN: Kabra Hotel publican Johanna Lidster surveys the damage to her office. Allan Reinikka ROK23041akabrapub

"They got a bit of a fright when the alarm went off,” she said.

"But you could see from the CCTV that it wasn't until they heard the key in the door and the door opening that they realised anyone was here.”

They had been in the pub for 30 seconds when the alarm went off and it took Johanna about another 30 seconds to get into the pub.

In less than a minute, after smashing a bathroom window, the thieves had stolen raffle money from behind the bar and between $1000 and $1300 in cash from the office.

With their heads covered by caps and hoodies, Johanna was unable to get a good look at two of the intruders.

"I was able to see one of the faces,” she said.

"I can definitely say that if I ever see that bloke in the pub again he won't be walking out alive.”

After working at the pub for five years and bringing it back from the brink, Johanna described the break-in as a kick in the guts.

"I work 100 hours a week and I pay myself very little, as most publicans do, to get the business up and running,” she said.

"It is doing really well, but for the five years I have been here it's been a struggle.”

Disappointed to see that some could show such disrespect to hardworking business owners, she added: "It's a shame these people have to lower themselves to that level of humanity.”

She said she had taken precautions with security after hearing of similar incidents around the region for more than a year, but had known something like this would eventually happen.

"I knew the day would come, just because of the way our society is going,” she said.

"When Di from the Westwood pub got broken into a few times last year I said to the boys at the bar, 'It won't be long. It will happen here.'

"We are more secure here than a lot of other hotels, but it still didn't stop them. That is how brazen they are.”

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