Businesses plan to rise above constant city crime


Fantasy Tails has only been in operation for 18 months, but in the past year it has been broken into at least seven times and has experienced multiple instances of vandalism, property damage, and theft.

Owners Jared Yates and Zach Kroonenburg have spoken of the rising crime rate in Mareeba and now feel targeted, with the latest burglary seeing a lone perpetrator cut their CCTV wires and steal the box.

With their lease expiring in November, the young business owners began to seriously consider fleeing Mareeba in favor of a safer town, fearing the perpetrators were targeting the animals in the store.

“It almost seems like the most sensible option and for the safety of the animals as well – we don’t have the rescue cats here anymore because we fear for their safety,” Kroonenburg said.

“We’ve had seven major incidents but we’ve had a lot more little things that aren’t even worth talking about like graffiti and shoplifting, we’ve had a bunch of robberies. ‘display.

“We’ve spoken to all levels of government as well as council and advisers, but everyone is pointing fingers at each other.”

Young landlords have spoken out publicly against crime in Mareeba and some community members have suggested they should calm down so they are no longer targeted.

However, Messrs. Yates and Kroonenburg believe they shouldn’t have to shut up and walk on eggshells around young offenders who commit wrongdoing.

“We spoke out against crime because we want something done, we don’t want our city to be run by juvenile delinquents,” Kroonenburg said.

“Business owners shouldn’t have to cower in fear and spend sleepless nights wondering when they’ll be robbed next.”

Fantasy Tails paid $30,000 to repair damage or install security systems to deter burglaries, but in the past two weeks there have been five burglary attempts at the back of the business.

Owners were constantly forced to choose between supplying products to their customers or repairing damage to their businesses – they even had to postpone major expansion plans.

“We had high hopes and big dreams, but the last two weeks have been an emotional charge,” Mr Yates said.

Mr. Yates and Mr. Kroonenburg call Mareeba home and don’t want to have to flee for the safety of their livelihoods, but it has become a fact that they have begun to consider.

A shocked president of the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce, Joe Moro, said he was disgusted by the way Fantasy Tails was targeted.

“It’s terrible and I’m very disappointed with the level at which they’ve been targeted, it’s disgusting – it would be very sad to lose them and I hope they reconsider,” he said.

“They should be able to do their business and express their opinions, it’s very sad and disappointing in the sense that they can be forced out of town.

“We’ve heard from a number of businesses that part of the reason they closed was because of the level of crime they suffered.”

Other businesses in the city have also been victims of crime in the past week, with two businesses on Atherton Street robbed and another on Byrnes Street early on Tuesday morning.

Mareeba Leagues Club also had one of their glass doors smashed last Wednesday morning and alcohol stolen, while another attempt was made last Wednesday night.


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