By Derek Schlennstedt
A new restaurant in Ferny Creek was forced to temporarily close after it was the target of a vicious criminal attack.
According to Belgrave Police, between 9pm 16 November, and 3am 17 November, an offender has gained entry to the property and thrown rocks at the windows, causing them to crack.
The offender has also smashed the owner’s car beyond repair and written derogatory words in blood along its side.
Owners Jim and Liz Saunders told the Mail that the ferocity of damage has left them visibly shaken.
“I’ve just been numb for the last few weeks since it happened … it’s just awful and I just don’t understand why,” Mrs Saunders said.
“You can see on both side of the car there is blood so they’ve obviously injured themselves but then they’ve written a disturbing message in blood and it just looks like a really vicious attack- especially with the writing,” he said.
“There was nothing stolen out of the car, they weren’t interested in anything in there so they just wanted to cause some hurt I think.”
The Ferny Creek Kitchen restaurant opened in June, but Mr and Mrs Saunders said that even before opening they had received noise complaints.
“Initially we wanted to open in July and had a complaint through the council for noise, and we hadn’t even opened,” Mrs Saunders said.
“Then we had another complaint before we opened about amenity signs.”
Belgrave Police sergeant, Mick Hall said the cost of damages came to over $10,000.
“It appears be a particularly vindictive act from an individual,” Sgt Hall said.
Both Mr and Mrs Saunders said it was a disappointing setback, but added that the community has rallied to support them.
They said they wouldn’t give up on their dream and hope to reopen as soon as possible.
“From a negative you do get positive, because we’ve gotten so much support from the community,” Mr Saunders said.
“We have had set backs but we’ve got plenty of resolve to make this work … It’s a beautiful place and it’s our dream.”
Anyone with information or who may have seen anything is urged to contact Senior Constable Dingjan at Belgrave Police on 9754 6677