Sunday, 18 December 2011

This is NOT the spirit of Christmas

One of our local shopkeepers has been burgled. Happened on Thursday night/Friday morning. We only heard about it on Saturday. They took 10K worth of stock and money.

Seems the flat above the shop was being renovated - police say that building sites, of whatever nature, are the hottest spots for burglaries. The builders had been very careful to lock all their power tools in a massive safe that is in the flat (left over from the days when there was a bank there, must have been a long time ago, I don't remember it). But they'd left the cheap tools unlocked. Including a crowbar and a jemmy.

So burglars broke in. How? Front doors, back doors of the shop all alarmed. Motion sensors within shopfront. Yes, they broke in through the roof. Not to the shop, but to the flat - perhaps to steal the power tools. Ah, you say, but they're all locked in the safe.

So they use the tools they do have to break into the shop (which has large open area upstairs, and an office, as well as the shop proper downstairs).
And how do they do this? Well, they break the wall down. After all, it's only a stud partition wall so really not much of a challenge, it would seem.

And then, because there are flats out the back which overlook the upstairs, they whitewash the windows (with paint rollers which they take away with them, why?)
So now they have the shop to themselves for several hours. They use the crowbar and the jemmy to open the safe, and remove a few thousand pounds in there. They take £5k worth of scooters from upstairs. They remove a few thousand pounds more worth of stock from the shop downstairs.

They are only disturbed when they inadvertently move too far over the shopfloor and hit a motion sensor ray. At which point they scarper.

And what were the goods they were taking? Well, Sylvanian Families, Playmobil, Lego..... All goods which would have been sold within hours for a fraction of their retail price, and which would have gone in no time.

So this shop is.....?

Yes, it's our local toy shop. And disappointed children have not been able to get the presents they wanted for Christmas. This has happened to a genuine sole trader, who is in competition with the likes of Argos, Toys'R'Us, etc. And now some of his customers are having to go to Argos, Toys'R'Us, Asda,etc to get the presents they want because there's no way he can restock between now and Christmas.

He's been in business now for about 24 years (a couple of years longer than my eldest son's been alive). He has a son who is the youngest (and fastest) person to swim the Bristol Channel (and for why? Because he was raising money - over £50k so far - for local children's hospice). And Paul has been re-selling VHS and DVDs in his shop, also to raise money for the hospice.

And although regulars will still support him, and the insurance will pay out (but not in time to make any impact on this Christmas's sales) he's still left with children who are disappointed because he hasn't got xyz (because it's been stolen) and parents who are wondering whether perhaps they should have gone to *insert name of superstore here*.

Bah, humbug, eh?


  1. If you come across any goods with a sticker saying "Totally Toys" on it, please ring police immediately.

  2. Oh, there are some delightful people around, aren't there? And to think they probably have families and will have a lovely Christmas and not think for one second of the misery they've caused. Grrr (to say the least)!

  3. There's a story in the paper today about a middle-aged couple whose flat was robbed of anything worth having, including the Christmas presents for themselves and their children. Just mean and nasty.

  4. Just dreadful. Scum . Utter scum.