By Brendan Rees
An Upper Beaconsfield small business owner has been left reeling after her shop sign was vandalised during the early hours of last Sunday morning.
Tradies and Ladies cafe owner Sally, who asked not to reveal her surname, said her sign, ‘Sally’s Big Ass Burgers’ was deliberately graffitied at 12.20am on Sunday, 11 March.
“It’s heartbreaking and disappointing. It’s just malicious damage,” she said. “They’ve tried to white it out and put a smiley face on it.”
She said the sign originally took seven days to hand paint and “these thugs ruin it in less than two minutes. I’m so cross and disappointed.”
However, the vandals were caught on a CCTV camera at the cafe.
Sally said there were two males aged between 18-20 years old, but added the footage wasn’t “fabulous.”
“They’ve come to the shops with cans of spray paint,” she said. “They’ve planned it and they’ve come at a time when they thought they were safe and weren’t going to be on camera or anyone around to catch them. So it was definitely intentional.”
She said the men “set themselves up” for two minutes at the shop at 12.20am. “They left their cans and everything there and they walked back up to the car. I don’t know why because they didn’t appear to come back with anything.”
Three minutes later, the men returned and graffitied her sign, Sally said.
“I think they got disturbed by a vehicle and ran back up the street to the toilets where they had parked their car.”
At 12.17am, Sally says a passing motorist saw the two men in a maroon Commodore but did not obtain a registration.
“It just so happen there was a local driving and she actually slowed right down because she knew they were up to something shifty.”
Sally said she didn’t see the car in the footage because it was parked around a corner.
She said it was possible someone may have been disgruntled about two flashing signs, advertising her cafe were installed along Beaconsfield-Emerald Road.
The flashing signs, she says, were approved by VicRoads due to ongoing roadwork that was interrupting her business.
“I wonder if someone got the gripes over that because it’s a bit of a coincidence that this has happened when I’ve got lights flashing at either end of the road.”
“It’s just stupid. Some brainless pair of morons thought it would be funny or would be pay back. I don’t know what it is,” she said.
“I’ve gone through a lot with that shop; had an aggravated burglary 16 months ago and that was pretty frightening.”
The sign has been the centre of controversy in recent years after complaints it was distracting drivers.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.