GAILES newsagency owner Paul Lees believes laughter is the best means of coping with adversity.

The 38-year-old has now had the opportunity to put his notion into practice after his store was targeted in a ram-raid earlier this month.

Mr Lees said the incident occurred on May 17, when a man slammed a stolen ute into his shopfront about 4.30am.

"Fortunately, my grandfather-in-law was out the back, helping open up for the day and scared the thief away when he entered.

"Before the man bolted, he grabbed a can of coke - which was the only thing he managed to steal.

"So basically he smashed the entire shop front and created more than $10,000 worth of damage all for a can of soft drink."

While repairs continue, a makeshift wooden wall has been installed, which has provided Mr Lees with a way to poke fun at the situation.

With the help of local artist Deb Mostert, the wood was used to create an ironic mural which featured the cartoon character Wile E Coyote painting a tunnel on his store.

Fans of Looney Tunes may remember how Wile E Coyote always painted tunnels on rocks, so when Roadrunner came by, he would crash into the rock and Wile E Coyote would catch him.

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"If you don't laugh about the situation, you're going to cry," Mr Lees said. "So I thought this would be a good idea to try and make a positive out of something that just didn't need to happen."

Mr Lees said the painting had put a smile on peoples' faces and had been well received by the community.

He said when the glass was replaced, he intended to auction off the mural and give whatever money raised to the Gailes Community House.

Mr Lees also said he was aware of about five ram raid incidents that had occurred in the community in the last few weeks.


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