by Julia Baker
POLICE are investigating after two businesses and C&K Chinchilla Community Kindergarten were targeted by thieves at the weekend and said the crimes are most likely linked to a series of break and enters which have occurred in Chinchilla in recent weeks.
It is the second time the kindergarten has been broken into since the beginning of May.
Chinchilla Police Station officer-in-charge Acting Sergeant Michael Collett said police are still trying to ascertain exactly what was taken from Masala Hut restaurant and Eyecare Eyewear, after they were broken into in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He said thieves smashed glass doors at the front of the two businesses, located side by side in the Chinchilla Central shopping precinct on Middle St.
"The offenders have smashed holes, not all the way through but to be able to get in and unlock the door," he said.
"We're still trying to determine exactly what was taken, they have taken money from the till but we don't know how much and we believe there is some property missing as well. We will have a full breakdown when the owners of the businesses do an extensive audit."
Administration officer Nicky Walsh said thieves had forcefully removed the kindergarten's fees box off a wall but that there was no money being kept inside in light of the recent break and enter.
"We've definitely made sure there was no money left on the premises. They've trashed our office and got through via the back door with a screwdriver," she said.
"They've taken an iPod and one of our speakers that we use for the kids.
"We believe the motive was the money but it's just such a disappointment for the kids...the community kindy is actually owned by the community of Chinchilla....if anything ever happened where we weren't viable we'd have to have a discussion about that, and it's upsetting for the kids."
Ms Walsh said the kindergarten had decided to remain open today and that children were playing in an unaffected part of the building.
She said staff were attempting to fast-track the installation of new security features at the premises.
"We were already in discussion with a security firm to have our locks changed but I've called them this morning and said 'can you please get this done this week because we just can't keep going like this'....and we need to know that everything is secure and we're fine," she said.
Act Sgt Collett said police were only notified of the incident at the kindergarten earlier this morning and were still investigating.