A BUSINESS is on the brink of being uprooted as relentless break-ins drive the owner to consider relocating.
Mary Litrico has been hit three times since she opened Country Bonsai Cafe and Garden Centre in Tolland just four months ago.
“I’m just getting disheartened because it’s one hit after another,” she said. “If the community doesn’t help me out or back the business, there won’t be one.
“I’m only a new business.
“I knew I was taking a risk when I opened it, but I thought it might be nice to bring this to Tolland.
“If I keep getting broken into and having bonsais stolen, I can’t trade. It’s not worth it.”
Operating as a bonsai nursery and cafe, the business was first hit two months after opening.
An intruder took bolt cutters to the fence and gained entry through a small hole before ransacking the entire cafe and pocketing coins from the cash register.
One of the four bonsais that were stolen several weeks ago while the business was open, was a bonsai that Ms Litrico had spent a decade working on.
“You can’t put a price on them because it’s the amount of time you pour into them,” she said.
“It was just devastating.
“I don’t care about the money.
“If it’s a bonsai I’m working on, that’s what I get upset about.”
The business was dealt another blow on Friday when two of the four rabbits were stolen.
Ms Litrico, who only bought the rabbits so patrons’ children could feed them, believes kids as young as six crawled under the Temerloh Avenue-facing fence and took off with them overnight.
While police located one rabbit in Mount Austin later that day, a white lop-eared rabbit it still missing.
“I come in everyday thinking what’s next,” she said.
“It’s a cost to the business.”
Ms Litrico, a former stalwart of Sydney’s cafe scene, combined her love for bonsais and cafes when she opened the business, but is now considering relocating when her lease at the current site expires in October.
In the meantime, she is upgrading security at the centre by installing steel mesh under the gates and erecting CCTV cameras in the hope to deter future break-ins.
The business is just one of many that are upping security measured having fallen prey to greedy thieves.
Wagga police busted 23 shoplifters in a two-day shoplifting operation last week across the Marketplace, South City, Sturt Mall and the CBD.
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