An outspoken business owner who put the spotlight on his outback town’s youth crime epidemic has been dealt another devastating blow.
Fed-up bakery and cafe owner Darren Clark has endured wave after wave of attacks on several businesses he has run in Alice Springs, in the centre of the Northern Territory, while documenting the ongoing violence in the under-siege town.
His bakery was broken into and trashed again early Sunday morning, with the robbers causing at least $3,000 worth of damage, including smashed windows, doors and recently installed blinds.
It’s the 42nd time Mr Clarke’s businesses has been targeted by intruders during the ongoing crime wave.
Mr Clarke shared footage of the latest break-in, despite being temporarily suspended from Facebook.
Darren Clark is fed up and frustrated after the latest break-in early Sunday morning
‘New blinds are wrecked,’ Mr Clark explained in the footage.
He entered the bakery to inspect the damage inside, which included broken doors and walls kicked in.
On top of the hefty damage bill, Mr Clark was also left with a massive clean-up job with the kitchen floor strewn with baking ingredients and equipment.
He got the alarm activation at 5.38am that his bakery had been broken into and called triple-0.
He spent seven minutes on hold before an operator answered as the intruders caused destructive chaos at his bakery.
‘They stood on a table and used a witches hat to smash the windows so they could climb in,’ Mr Clark told Daily Mail Australia.
‘They kicked in walls and rummaged through places where they thought there would be keys and money.’
‘They also left the doors of freezer and cold room open.’
The frustrated businessman was so devastated he couldn’t face clearing up all the damage in time to reopen his doors on Monday.
Darren Clark claims intruders stood on a table to smash and climb through the windows of his bakery
Mr Clark fears Alice Springs will soon be ‘unliveable’ and is again pondering whether to shut up shop before he’s targeted a 43rd time.
‘It’s pure frustration, I’m just numb and emotionless,’ he said.
‘The stuff I’ve seen and heard about around the town is horrific.’
‘It’s going to be a hell of a long time for the issues to be fixed.
The latest break-in occurred days after Mr Clark was suspended from Facebook for ‘bullying and harassment’ after he uploaded a video of two teenage Aboriginal girls fighting onto the Action for Alice page he runs.
He founded the social media movement documenting the crime wave gripping the outback town three years ago.
Intruders kicked in several walls and doors as they rummaged around trying to find cash
Mr Clark was also left with a massive clean-up job with baking ingredients strewn across the kitchen floor
Mr Clark claimed Facebook temporarily suspended his account over the video due to ‘bullying and harassment’.
While the Action for Alice remains online, his account has been suspended for a month.
Mr Clark plans to set up Action for Alice accounts on other social media platforms in the coming days.
He claimed things had ‘gone back’ to the way they were following Anthony Albanese’s recent ‘fly-in fly-out’ visit to the outback town.
The federal government later announced a $250 million investment in community safety and services and reinstated alcohol bans, six months after they were lifted.
‘That $250million isn’t going to go to the right services that need it the most,’ Mr Clark told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The only way this is going to be resolved is if the governments are open and transparent about the problem before they try and fix it.
‘The best way to rebuild is from rock bottom and not continue to silence us.’
The intruders also destroyed Mr Clark’s recently installed blinds at the bakery
Mr Clark recently told the Today show’s Brooke Boney ‘someone’s going to die here soon’ if the situation isn’t properly addressed.
‘I’m the only one that’s shown the truth in this town, and if I want to show even more truth, no one would live here,’ he warned.
It comes as alarming new data revealed the dramatic rise in crime in Alice Springs in the last 12 months.
Assaults have gone up 51 per cent, with 2823 reported in a town of 26,000.
The assault rate in Alice Springs was five times higher per person than in the state’s capital Darwin.
Domestic violence-related assaults rose by 65 per cent while alcohol-related assaults were up 68 per cent.
There were 1886 reported instances of domestic violence, and 1521 assaults related to alcohol.
The town also recorded a concerning rise of property damage (55 per cent) and commercial break-ins (47 per cent).
On top of the crisis, the local prison is stretched beyond capacity with convicted criminals also being housed at police stations.
Alice Springs business owner Darren Clark (pictured) is fed up after being broken into a 42nd time