Food robbery foiled
OWNERS of a Gympie cafe that was broken into twice and raided of food and drinks last weekend are pretty sure they caught the petty thieves in the act when they returned for another feast.
Rachel Wildman and partner Billy Fernie had been keeping a close eye on the family business from their home next door this week after thieves broke in both Friday and Saturday nights.
Country Bounty garden centre, homewares and cafe on Graham St is surrounded by a six-foot chain-link fence that is secured every evening.
After deciding to make regular checks on the property at night in case thieves struck again, Mr Fernie had a look around at 8pm Tuesday and found a teenage boy inside the gate.
He grabbed the youth as three others ran away and while Ms Wildman detained the caught offender her partner gave chase after the others but they got away.
Police said four male juveniles jumped over Country Bounty's perimeter fence and were heading towards the shop when discovered.
Investigating officers conducted searches for the other three but could not locate them.
Detectives from Gympie CIB dealt with one juvenile and were continuing inquiries to find the whereabouts of the other offenders.
Ms Wildman and Mr Fernie were being hailed as "local heroes" by their friends and family this week, but the couple just shrugged it off.
"Billy scared the life out of him," Ms Wildman said of the teenage boy she detained while her partner gave chase after the other offenders.
"He was just sitting there crying while I held his jacket."
Normally a large guard dog patrols the yard for security, however he was on holidays at the time of the break-ins.
Brutus, a not-very-friendly bull Arab, is now back at his post to keep out trespassers.
Ms Wildman said items stolen at the weekend were cartons of soft drink, ice-cream, flavoured milk, biscuits and cheesecake among other food and beverage items.