WATCH: Owner holds fast as alleged glue thieves strike
SHAKEN but not deterred, an Ipswich business owner is determined not to let a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch.
Vinh Truong, who runs Tivity Party, Gifts and Homeware in the CBD, said he was feeling the love from the community after his business was allegedly robbed this week.
About 11.30am on Wednesday, a group of juveniles entered his shop and harassed him before one jumped the counter and stole a box of KS Bond glue worth $110.
Mr Truong has kept the stock of the glue behind the counter for a few months after learning young people were buying it to sniff it.
The group was walking past when they saw an older customer leaving the shop with the glue in hand.
The 54-year-old refuses to sell the glue to anyone under 18 and usually only does so to regular customers who have bought it from him for years.
After the group was told no, they became aggravated and walked around the store with a couple of them stuffing items into their pockets.
While Mr Truong was still on the phone to police, one of the young men jumped over the counter and ran off with a box of glue after a couple had attempted to get in behind the register.
The call was supposed to act as a deterrent for the group but when they didn't back down, Mr Truong said his priority was not to aggravate the situation with a couple of customers in the store at the time.
The incident was caught on CCTV and the footage handed over to police.
"A lot of kids use (the glue) for sniffing so when we found out they did that we just took it off the shelf," he said.
"It's a very popular brand with the older community. They use it for their shoes. They stick to a brand and use it.
"I've spoken to a few people who work in social services and they said people rely on it to get a high. Nowadays they're stealing Rexona deodorant. We stopped stocking that for the same problem.
"I was a little bit shaken afterwards, I think from the adrenaline. (The customers) were shaken a bit, too. They stayed to check on how I was doing."
He said he was heartened by the response from the wider community, with many coming in to check up on him.
Mr Truong has been in the CBD shop for a year after three years in the mall and has been in business in Ipswich for 25 years, with another shop in Winston Glades Shopping Centre.
"There's a lot of people here who are nice people and great people," he said.
"When it's so quiet and there's no one here they think they can get away with it."
A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman said the investigation was being handled by the Ipswich Child Protection and Investigation Unit.