Theresa Jones, with son Travis, behind, has put this sign outside her store to try to deter young thieves.
Theresa Jones, with son Travis, behind, has put this sign outside her store to try to deter young thieves. TONI MCRAE

Thieves caught on film don't care

THERESA and Darryl Jones’s corner Blue Store in Pialba has plunged the hard-working couple into an even deeper shade of blue.

“We’ve been here two years and pretty much as long as that we’ve had to deal with school kids stealing from us,” mother-of-four Theresa said yesterday.

“Their latest target is energy drinks and at around $4 a pop that’s really costing us.

“But when they leave our shop and go to school on an energy drink high they must be putting their teachers through hell.”

Theresa says the kids – from Pialba State School and Hervey Bay State High – are just getting “cockier and cockier”.

“We’ve caught them on our shop camera and I’ve even been to court to watch the justice system process a youngster who broke into our shop after hours. He had so many prosecutions but they just told him not to do it again.”

Last year the Joneses found that kids were targeting chips and ice creams and stuffing them up their school shirts.

“We’ve put signs outside the shop warning them we have their faces on camera and that only three school kids can now be in the shop at any one time but it really makes no difference.

“They have even been sitting outside the shop asking customers for money.”

The Joneses have banned young thieves from the shop but new waves of pilferers come in as fast as they stop the previous lot coming through the doorway.

“They work in pairs with one chatting to me while I make burgers or chips and the other leap frogging the counter and grabbing smokes.

“We’ve even had to encase our chewing gum, bubble gum and lolly packets.”

Theresa says she also has “very nice and polite” children coming in, including from Pialba and Hervey Bay schools. “And the Anglican College students don’t give us any trouble.

“We have raised our four kids to work hard and be honest. The 10-year-old, Travis, has been working hard for me here all morning since 5am to earn his pocket money.

“We’re just a family grocery business doing our best to improve our store’s services. The last thing we need is to have to monitor children stealing from us.”

The Chronicle phoned Pialba State and Hervey Bay State High schools but during this holiday break no one was available.

Theresa says she is dreading the end of the school holidays when “the children will be back at it”.



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