By Sacha Delfosse

Two Sydney bars, Firefly and Neutral Bay Bar and Dining, were recent victims of successful burglaries by professional thieves who targeted their premium alcohol stock.

Firefly was broken into in the early hours of November 20 with the robbers getting past a security key door, disabling the alarm's siren and damaging the storage cage to gain access to a substantial amount of wine stock.

Firefly owner Daniel Sofo told TheShout the thieves went after well-known prestige brands.

"They seem to have been professionals and targeted the wine stock exclusively. They were obviously educated on brands and focused on taking what they could resell," he said.

Sofo suggested that due to the storage area being in public sight, and used during work hours, an observant person could have easily worked out where the stock was kept. The venue has now moved its stock to an off-site storage location.

The whole insurance claim process has been quite draining and time-consuming, Sofo said, and despite the venue being fully covered this time, it may not be so lucky in the future.

"I have been advised we are covered this time but two things will happen – either our premium will rise or the insurance will refuse to cover that component in the future."

He recommended other venues check or upgrade their insurance policy to make sure they have adequate coverage since many venues may have stock valued at more than what they are covered for.

"Many places have elevated levels of stock, especially during the festive period, and many close for the holidays, so they may be more prone to being robbed and may find out they are not covered for everything."

"If you get robbed and you are not adequately covered it could make or break you," Sofo said.

Neutral Bay Bar and Dining meanwhile suffered two consecutive burglaries. Thieves first broke in on November 19 and took a large amount of expensive wines, then brazenly returned the next night to take the majority of the spirits too.

"They took everything of value," Neutral Bay Bar and Dining restaurant manager, Kimberley Barr, said.

"They knew what they were after, some wines we had are hard to replace. We have been looking online to see if we come across any of them for sale but we don't expect to find them."

And like the Firefly burglary, the police haven't found the culprits but did return a few days after the break-in to advise the venue of some security measures they could take to prevent future thefts.

"The cops advised us on security, they sent out a department group that helps with crime prevention and they told us to put in cameras and alarms," Barr said.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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