A THIEF ripped a water meter off the side of a wall of the British & American Hotel in Long Gully to gain entry on Thursday night.
Owner Russel Hill said the alarm sounded immediately and he thought the thief would have been inside the venue for about two minutes.
Breaking off the water meter created a small hole in the wall that allowed the thief to crawl through, Mr Hill said.
He said water would have been spraying in the pub as the thief entered.
He said the thief stole a till, which contained a small amount of money.
He said the thief had to break a glass door to exit the pub, as the space they had crawled through was too small to fit the till.
He said he was not concerned about the burglary.
"I don't worry about things like that," Mr Hill said.
"You can have your house or business as safe as you like, but they will get in if they want to."
He said he would have to replace the door.
But he said the damages would be covered by his insurance.
Detective Scott Tuddenham of Bendigo said he was not surprised about the burglar's method of entry.
"I don't find anything unusual anymore," he said.
"People will do anything to get in."
He said he had investigated cases of people entering houses through dog and cat doors.
He said entering by dislodging a water meter off a wall was not common.
"It's not a standard thing that you see all the the time but if you ask me if I'm surprised, no I'm not," he said.
He said it was likely the burglary was not spontaneous because the burglar would have to know dislodging the water meter would allow them to enter the hotel.
"They would have had a look, I'd say," he said.
"They've obviously put a bit of thought into it."
Police are investigating the matter.