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Thieves grab $40,000 sunnies haul

Shannon Smith and Andrew Speed. Thieves stole 190 pairs of brand name sunglasses from Outlook Eye Centre, Southtown.
Shannon Smith and Andrew Speed. Thieves stole 190 pairs of brand name sunglasses from Outlook Eye Centre, Southtown. Dave Noonan

THIEVES armed with a sledgehammer smashed their way into an optometrist's shop and stole brand-name sunglasses worth $40,000.

The unknown offenders left a trail of destruction as they smashed a display cabinet and stole 190 pairs of sunglasses and glasses from Toowoomba Optometrist Outlook Eye Centre at the Southtown Shopping Centre

Business owner Shannon Smith said it was a shock to see the damage after the break-in at 2.40am yesterday.

"It feels like an invasion of privacy," Mrs Smith said.

"It's the second time it's happened (in two years). It's terrible.

"They targeted name brands like Ray-Ban, Vogue and Maui Jim."

Mrs Smith believes the offenders will sell the stolen goods and has urged members of the public to report suspicious activity.

"We've posted it on our Facebook page," she said.

The theft has left the business short of stock in the busy lead-up to Christmas.

"The stock is insured but it is the inconvenience of having to re-order," Mrs Smith said.

"It's going to take us days to produce invoices for the insurance company.

"And getting the carpets cleaned and repairs to the front door, wall, and display cabinet."

Police have seized a duffle bag left at the scene which was used to carry the sledgehammer.

Anyone with information which could assist police with their investigation is urged to phone Toowoomba Police on 4631 6333 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Despite the setback, Mrs Smith said they would still be attending the Mummy Tree Markets tomorrow to promote the importance of healthy vision for children.



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