When Shannon Lingard found out she would be managing a brand new store on the main street of Katherine she thought it would be safe from vandalism.
The recently bought shopfront was previously filled with cakes and flowers, and the owner Lana Read was no stranger to smashed windows.
But the new store, in the midst of renovations, would soon house a chiropractor, laser clinic and a sleep centre - no food or drinks in sight.
And no cash for vandals to break in for either.
Today, those notions crumbled as Ms Lingard arrived to work and saw police at the entrance.
Her cracked shopfront was just one in a line of smashed shop and car windows on the main street, which happened in the early hours of this morning.
The ANZ is down an ATM, the credit union's front door has been hit multiple times, Katherine Real Estate will have to replace a costly glass display window with just a small round crack and Toy World has boarded up its front door.
"It is breaking for the sake of breaking," Ms Lingard said.
"It is so disappointing. We don't want to have to bar up the front, we had hoped people would be able to look in through our front window and see a nice feature wall instead of a jail.
"We are a place people come for special treatment, we value everyone who comes through our door and now we have no option but to protect the front with grilles and take the beauty away."
Ms Lingard currently manages Katherine Laser Clinic across the road in a building owned by Philip Jazyschyn.
With grand ideas of expansion and adding more services to a slowly declining Katherine, he bought The Sweetest Thing, a cake shop on Katherine Terrace five months ago and gutted it.
Ms Lingard said there had been concerns about moving into a shopfront which had faced multiple break-ins.
"At first we thought about how much Lana went through but thought because we are not a food place we would be safe. There is no money kept on the premises no cold drinks, nothing to break-in for," she said.
"(Philip) and I are stayers, we love it here and we want to add as much to the town as possible, so buying for us is a great investment in the town.
"We are still excited about opening."
Police are reporting that between 12.20am and 1.00am this morning, a man walked along Katherine Terrace and smashed a number of business windows and parked cars.
Grainy CCTV images have made it almost impossible to identify the man or what he used to vandalise half a street.
Police have been out in Katherine today investigating the damage.
"This persons' wanton act of criminal damage will not be tolerated," Superintendent Daniel Shean said.
"Upon being identified, police will make every effort to ensure he is dealt with swiftly and brought before the court," he said.
On social media calls for harsh penalties have been made clear and recent crime statistics have come into question after Mr Jazyschyn posted a photo in front of the smashed window with a belt in his hand.
"No this isn't right. I've been informed over and over again that crime levels are reducing. You must be mistaken. Likely a small bird impacted your new clean glass. Four times. That seems much more plausible," a local resident commented on the post.
Crime spiked to an alarming rate at the beginning of this year as police dealt with a record amount of break-ins to houses and local businesses.
Police records show 69 break-ins for the month of January, and 55 for December 2018.
But a key operation called Pelion has seen those crime rates decrease from being up 223 per cent at its highest to up 48 per cent in August, according to the latest statistics.
The Katherine Times spoke to Police Commander Michael Hebb just over a week ago who said while one break-in was one too many, the downward trend was a turnaround for the town.
"We were experiencing high numbers of break-ins, but through initiatives we have introduced and partnerships we have adopted, there has been a turn around in offending rates," he said.
"The data may say it's up 48 per cent, this is year-on-year data which has progressively been reducing.
"If we look at December and January, for both those months we had 41 break-ins, now, we look at July and August and we've had 10."
Opposition leader Gary Higgins says the Northern Territory remains in the grips of a 'crime crisis', with "Katherine the most recent victim of a string of senseless and pointless crime along the main street".
He says the current government's 'soft' has created an environment where "criminals know when they break the law there will be no punishment".
"Katherine is a vibrant town with good people who care about where they live, and they deserve to have a government who wants to see the town prosper," he said.
"Under the Gunner Labor Government, Katherine's house prices have dropped and to live through a crime crisis on top of that is too much."
Soon to be counting the cost of a replaced window, Ms Lingard agreed and said she wants wrongdoers in Katherine to be held accountable.
"There has to be some sort of punishment if you are going to be malicious," she said.
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