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Pointless drug related crime

Mark Fletcher
May 19th, 2014 · 11 Comments

On Saturday night the back door and the outer steel security door of a high street retail business I own were smashed and thousands of dollars in cash (two days takings) was taken along with more than five thousand dollars worth of stock.

The theft was committed at 4:30am. We have photos and video of those involved. On the evidence, the police confident that it is a drug related crime.

What shocked me was a comment by the police that the money will be spent by those involved within 48 hours, that they will be high for a couple of days, down for a couple of days after than and then on the look out for their next payday.

Stock and doors can be replaced and insurance can cover some of the cash. The business disruption is frustrating as is the process of claiming on insurance. All because someone wants to get high.

The police expect no jail time, some community service and no attention to what caused them to steal i the first place.

I have no idea what the answer is and no, I am not suggesting that jail time resolves drug related crime. Naively, I wish there was a solution for the addiction that is at the root of this crime.

What I do know is that this business feels a bit less safe than a few days and and that means a bit less enjoyment for those who work there and maybe some who shop there.


Category: theft

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 michelle // May 19, 2014 at 6:51 AM

    Mark I really feel for you and your staff, the truth is that you never feel exactly the same way about your business after a break in. You do look at customers differently especially new faces and you are more aware of your own security. Perhaps in the long run thats not a bad thing – self preservation.
    As to why they do it if only there was a difinitive answer, I cant help wondering if part of it comes down to people taking responsibility for their own lives. There seems to be a pervasive attitute of everything in life being someone elses fault – not sure where that comes from or how it started but in my mind that attitude makes it easier for addicts (drugs, alcohol or laziness) to justify what they do. As a society we are now more governed in everything we do maybe the importance of interacting with one another in its most simplistic sence is being eroded away. Maybe selfishness is simly the core issue.
    Your customers will want to hear all the gory details and your staff will have to repeat it over and over for the next few days the truth is they genuinely mean well so you just take a deep breath and repeat the story for them. Then it dissipates and everyone goes back to normal as though nothing happened. Though the memory of it stays with you until the next time.


  • 2 Brucez // May 19, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    Sorry to hear about that. Been there and sympathise. We put it on social media and got heaps of customers coming in for a look!And to buy?


  • 3 Mark Fletcher // May 19, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    It’s frustrating but it also gets you thinking about your business differently.


  • 4 Carol // May 19, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Sorry about this. Living remotely we once were a bit immune to what we termed city crime but now every town has drug related crime. Can I ask “Did you have a safe”? If they got into my business they would have a lot of work to get into the safe.


  • 5 Gary // May 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Sorry to hear about this. Any kind of violation, personal or business, is ugly. I guess its a timely warning that the youth unemployment policies to the present federal government should prompt us to review our security measures.


  • 6 John fitzpatrick // May 19, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    I know many will disagree with my following comments (but are based on the experience many years ago whilst working as an ambulance officer where I had a drug addict die in my arms – nothing could be done for him) I would make drugs regulated and allow chemists to inject. In the 50’s heroin was a drug of choice by doctors for all sorts of problems. The USA started prohibition as we followed.
    If our community supplied pharmacy grade regulated drugs we may have a chance to get these people back into the general community and living a full life.

    Anyone who thinks drug prohibition works lives in another world.

    Sorry about the loss – lucky it’s only money – but it’s about the people, your staff who feel violated, who need support



  • 7 Mark Fletcher // May 19, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    John I agree with you 100% re drugs. legalise them, control the quality. tax the sale – and dramatically reduce crime. Look at Colorado in the US – the state government is set to reap US$100M in tax this year and they are thrilled at the good they will be able to do with this.

    We had a team meeting at the shop today and they are okay. Angry but okay. The biggest frustration is dealing with the insurance company.


  • 8 Glenn // May 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM


    I think you will find more people will agree with you than you think. I certainly do.

    In retail we all see, in one form or another, the impact that drug addiction has on so many lives and the lengths that addicts will go to for the next fix, or to save for their next fix.

    There is not a day that passes that we do not bear witness to the effects of drugs in the community. Only radical changes in managing the issue will make a difference.


  • 9 shauns // May 20, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Just because you make it legal does not make it affordable .same problem look at cigarettes do you not think a lot of crime I’d to score cigarettes .I remember mum and dads shop when I was a kid would get broken into every couple of months for cigarettes


  • 10 Mark Fletcher // May 20, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    The Colorado experience over the last five months is proving to be very informative in relation to marijuana.


  • 11 June // May 21, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    In 1985 we took our 6 kids to USA to do the Disneyland thing and one of our trips
    was to Hollywood. I had loved the “pictures” not “movies” all my life and I was just dying to see Hollywood.
    Well it was dirty, depressing and there were junkies on the side of the road sitting in the gutter and injecting in full view. When we were on the way home we stopped in Hawaii and the same thing happened. My kids were accosted (they were teenagers then) on every street corner over the 5 days we spent there.
    I came home convinced that the USA didn’t have anything I wanted and I haven’t changed my mind. In 1985 there was not even any talk about drugs and now we have this huge problem and it is only (?) 30 years ago.
    I agree with you John and Mark, legalize this and it will take the mystery out of it.
    Charge the kids and let the country make more money instead of the bikies and the other crooks.
    We also see the effects of drugs on our community (and we are in a high end area) so it is right across all sectors of society and shouldn’t be looked at as though it is only for “deadbeats”.
    I even know a Dr who is an addict and I believe that is quite common (easy access etc).
    I still call movies “pictures” because I reject the US invasion of our lives.


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