A handful of Rotorua store owners have been left feeling "scared" and "unsafe" after their shop doors were smashed and items stolen in an overnight break-in.

Three stores in a shopping complex on Fairy Springs Rd were a late-night target for a lone thief, who shattered their store doors with a rock and stole cash and drinks last night.

But this is not the first time, with one store owner saying incidents like this were happening on a yearly basis.

Rubi Dhillon, owner of Kebab Kitchen, said for the past three years her shop was subject to a break-in as the Christmas season drew near.

Advertisement

Dhillon, who is pregnant, was getting used to the overnight phone call telling her the shop had been broken into again, she said.

She said thieves were often "giving them trouble" and it left her feeling "scared", "nervous" and "unsafe" as her nights at work got longer.

There was extensive damage to all three of the store's front doors. Photo / Stephen Parker
There was extensive damage to all three of the store's front doors. Photo / Stephen Parker

The thief took a small amount of money that was left in the till, with Dhillon saying they would be putting more security precautions in place.

The bakery next door was also targeted in the attack, with the new owner only being at the premise for a month.

Sokumsy Huot said the previous owner had told her before she took over that the store was often subject to break-ins.

For this reason, it was something she was aware of, but did not expect it to happen "just like that", she said.

Huot and her partner were both feeling "uneasy" as they often start work before daylight when people like this were around, she said.

A young boy booked in for a haircut scruffled his hair as he peered through the smashed door of Blezard Hairdressers that was the third target of the attack.

Advertisement
There was extensive damage to all three of the store's front doors. Photo / Stephen Parker
There was extensive damage to all three of the store's front doors. Photo / Stephen Parker

The store had been forced to close for the day as blood splatters from the break-in and glass were shattered all over the floor and footpath and could not be tampered with.

Owner Jill Blezard said she was feeling fine as her CCTV camera had caught the alleged thief red-handed.

She said it was the first time they had been broken into and it left her feeling irritated.

A decent amount of money was taken and she feared more would have been taken if the alarm had not scared the thief off.

There was extensive damage to all three of the store's front doors. Photo / Stephen Parker
There was extensive damage to all three of the store's front doors. Photo / Stephen Parker

She said new precautions would now be put in place.

A police spokesman said officers had received a report of a burglary at a local business about 8am and inquiries were being made.