Mitchell’s Adventure in Berrimah has been broken into for the third time this month, with thieves interrupted soon after the break-in, after smashing knife display cases and attempting to steal a crossbow, a manager has said.
Assistant store manager Billy Armitstead said the latest break-in happened about 8.30pm on Friday night, when at least two teens cut the fence, then smashed a window to get into the store before they smashed about five knife display cases and attempted to steal them along with a crossbow.
Last Tuesday the NT Independent reported crossbows and bows stolen in one of two ram raids on the Darwin business had been used to shoot at least four people in Wadeye, sources had said. Eight bows and four crossbows were stolen on Monday, with eight bows and two crossbows stolen on June 2, along with about 200 bolts and arrows in total.
But thefts and the shootings had not been made public by the NT Police media unit, in a continuation of authorities suppressing information about violence in the remote community.
Police media had not yet made this most recent break-in public, and did not respond to questions about whether anyone had been arrested, or if they believed the weapons could also be taken to Wadeye.
Mr Armitstead said the three break-ins would end up costing the business tens of thousands of dollars, with replacement of the gates costing $4000 each time from the previous break-ins, between $3,000 to $4,000 to fix the front window, about $2,000 to fix the door, on top of the cost of the stock that was stolen, and the loss of trade for two days.
He said they had not worked out the cost of the latest break-in but they would need to replace safety glass on the five display cases as well as a window, and the power box along with the cost of the knives that were successfully stolen.
The business has been on the site 25 years, and Mr Armitstead has worked there for three and a half years, he said, and until about 18 months ago there had only been one break-in in his time, but now it had been broken into three times in three weeks and four times in four months.
“They cut the front fence, and then smashed a window, and then levered open the power box and cut the power, then smashed all of our knife cabinets.” he said.
“They attempted to take knives but they didn’t get too far because I was there within ten minutes of getting the call.”
He said they dropped a bag of knives and a crossbow outside.
‘They were still there when I got there. There were two pushbikes out the front, and I said to my boss that I thought they were gone. But I went for a drive to see if I could see anyone and they were in the building behind us, Custom Cabinets Design.”
He said when confronted they fled.
“The police have been really helpful. They have been amazing. The (Strike Force) Trident guys got here really quickly,” he said.
“But it is a joke. Things need to change. The government needs to hold people to account for what they are doing, and not just tell them they are naughty, and give them a slap on the wrist, and tell them not to do it again.”
Management had previously confirmed some of the weapons, at least, from the first break-in, had been taken to Wadeye.
Several other sources confirmed crossbows stolen there had been taken to the remote community which has been the scene of violence for months, which had left 545 people homeless and 125 homes damaged.
And they said that at least four people had been shot with the stolen weapons.
In late April, the NT Independent reported NT Police continued to suppress information about violence in Wadeye, issuing a press release an hour and a half after being sent questions about the ongoing rioting, but which lacked vital information about bloodshed in the community and the reasons why the Territory Response Group had not been sent in to restore safety.