Police are urging computer store owners to ensure they have adequate security measures installed at their premises following a spate of robberies across Sydney’s western suburbs.
At least nine reseller stores have been raided in the past couple of months, with detectives from the NSW Metropolitan Robbery Unit now working with local officers to investigate possible links.
Several of the robberies have seen the attackers specifically targeting LCD monitors and notebooks, speaking in what is thought to be Vietnamese and leaving in cars belonging to their victims.
The latest reseller to be hit was KS Computer Technology in Auburn, where office manager, John Goschin, and another member of staff were closing the business on October 27 when two men came in. A further three then entered, with one producing a handgun, before the two workers were assaulted, bound and had their faces covered.
The robbers stole money and computer equipment before searching the two members of staff and taking keys, wallets and mobile phones. They left in a red Honda coupe and a white Mitsubishi coupe belonging to their victims and were last seen heading west along Parramatta Road. Goschin eventually managed to free himself and raise the alarm.
He said his attackers had spoken in an Asian language and had been extremely self-confident, not even bothering to cover their faces with balaclavas.
“It’s getting to be a problem because they are targeting a lot of computer shops,” said Goschin. “We are getting to the point were we’re not sure we want to come to work anymore. Everyone is a target and these guys are merciless.”
But while undoubtedly shaken up by the attack, Goschin got off lightly when compared to a similar raid at KS Computer Technology in Stanmore on October 11. Office manager, Tony Wang, needed stitches in his head after being pistol-whipped. A colleague suffered a broken rib. A car was also stolen in this raid.
A NSW Police spokesperson said it was important for computer resellers to discourage robberies by installing security cameras to cover loading bays, driveways, car parks and store entrances. The appeal was supported by Goschin.
“If security cameras are installed they [the robbers] will look for a softer target,” he said.
“I would also advise dealers to try and get their banking done twice a day. Cash is not a big part of our business but it is important to minimise risks wherever possible.
“You never think it will happen top you but we need to get the message out to other dealers that these guys mean business.”
Other resellers that have been targeted recently include Australia Computer Online, Burwood, on October 20; Newtech Systems, Lidcombe, on September 1; and Big Ben Computers, South Strathfield, on August 15.
Further armed robberies have also been reported at resellers in Canterbury, Dulwich Hill, Concord, Auburn and Burwood.
Anyone with information about any of the attacks should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000.