A Russell Vale vet whose clinic has been broken into four times this year says she suffers anxiety when she starts work in the mornings, and has even considered relocating the practice.
Russell Vale Animal Clinic owner Liz Chmurycz said the latest break-in occurred about 4am on Monday.
Shaken by the alarm, the thief dropped a backpack - containing a hair dryer, a couple of toothbrushes and other toiletries - and bolted.
Dr Chmurycz said although thieves rarely got away with much, the continuing break and enters had left her feeling spooked.
Since 1996, the Bellambi Lane clinic had been broken into 22 times, she said.
"You walk in and find the mess ... it's very scary and frustrating.
"It's emotionally draining to come in to something you've worked hard to build up and someone feels they have the right to walk through and trash it.
"You try and look after animals and do the best you can and then there's just scum - if they've got the energy to get up at 4am and break into people's houses then they have the energy to get a job."
Dr Chmurycz said police were doing "an amazing job with the resources they have", and instead blamed lenient sentences dished out to criminals by "sympathetic" judges.
"I do think they should prosecute a bit more, even though it's petty and minor," she said.
"The continuation of it just drains the morale of the community."
According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Wollongong's rate of break and enters in non dwellings for 2013 was 208.9 per 100,000, slightly above the NSW average of 201.6.
However, Dr Chmurycz said the Russell Vale/Bellambi area experienced an unfair proportion of the break and enters.
"As one client said to me, 'It's the area'," she said.
"You get good people moving out and when good people move out there's a vacuum left."