A would-be robber left bolt cutters behind after breaking into the North Wollongong Optus store on Flinders Street early on Thursday.
The break-in triggered the store’s alarm system, which led to an unpleasant wake-up call for business owner Tony Story.
‘‘There have been four [break-in] attempts in four years - they never get anything because security is too tight and it always seems to be at four in the morning,’’ Mr Story said.
He said it was likely the ‘‘nauseating’’ alarm system had startled the criminal, prompting them to drop everything and run.
‘‘They left bolt cutters behind so they must have really run fast,’’ he said.
‘‘[The alarm] feels like someone’s nailing a screwdriver to your head.
‘‘The alarm’s screaming, they’ve tried to reach the phones, dropped them on the floor and done the Harry [run away].’’
The incident prompted Mr Story to taunt the criminal on the store’s Facebook page, calling on them to try breaking in again at a more reasonable hour.
‘‘If you wish to give your burglary career another crack, could you try it around 11pm when we are still awake?’’ he wrote.
‘‘Getting called out at 4am is just a pain.’’
Wollongong police inspector Phil O’Neil said police were investigating, and anyone who witnessed suspicious behaviour near the store around 4.15am yesterday was encouraged to contact the station or Crimestoppers.