Seeing red over blackout

Morris Newsagency owner Vic Ioppolo (front) with Dapper Dog Salon owner Graeme Neill and Morris Pharmacy owner Frank Balestra. Picture: Marcus Whisson d426000
Morris Newsagency owner Vic Ioppolo (front) with Dapper Dog Salon owner Graeme Neill and Morris Pharmacy owner Frank Balestra. Picture: Marcus Whisson d426000

The cameras were stolen over a three-week period, with the offenders caught on camera wearing hockey masks as they destroyed $30,000 worth of City of Stirling security equipment.

Shop owner Frank Balestra said he had seen an increase in anti-social behaviour and drug activity since the cameras were stolen.

‘There is a lot of drug paraphernalia that has been found in the carpark since the cameras were here, even drug deals happening in the carpark; you can actually see it,’ Mr Balestra said.

‘Just on the weekend, one of our customers brought us a syringe from out in the carpark and gave it to us.’

Mr Balestra said shop owners were beginning to wonder why the cameras had not yet been replaced.

‘Well I think it’s been long enough to get some cameras back and working again, I’m not sure what the hold up is,’ he said.

‘We’re all a bit frustrated and hopeful that they will be put back.’

Shop owner Vic Ioppolo said he had inquired multiple times with the City and its workers as to why the cameras had not been replaced.

City of Stirling community safety manager Laurie Crouch said the City would begin replacing cameras, with work expected to be completed by September 17.

Mr Crouch said the insurance process had slowed progress but the City was doing all it could.

‘The time between the theft occurring and the replacement going ahead is as a result of the City having to submit related insurance claims, source quotations, carry out a tender process and award a contract,’ Mr Crouch said.

‘The City has done all it could to expedite replacement of the CCTV cameras, but the required processes take time.’

Scarborough Police Senior Sergeant Neville Patterson said officers were monitoring the shopping centre and surrounding area, making an arrest earlier this month.

‘We saw a marked spike in burglary night time offences in and around Barnes Road and Morris Place Innaloo area and we ended up arresting a man last week,’ he said. ‘He’s been charged with six counts of aggravated burglary, primarily in that area.’

The Innaloo man was charged with several offences, including burglary and vehicle theft.

Sen Sgt Patterson said although police continued to monitor the area, there had been a marked decrease in anti-social behaviour this financial year.