Independent store raided by thieves hours after reopening
PUBLISHED: 06:25 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:04 17 June 2020
An independent town centre shop was raided overnight with around £400 of candles stolen, just hours after opening their doors for the first time in months.
Annatar gift shop, in Lowestoft, welcomed customers back into the London Road North store on Monday after weeks of enforced coronavirus closures.
Yet shortly after 3am in the early hours of Tuesday morning, June 16, thieves smashed a window on the door before bagging hundreds of pounds worth of Yankee Candles.
Co-owner Matt Wade said: “Two people came tooled up with a house brick and a couple of heavy duty carrier bags, smashed a window and climbed inside.
“One of them filled a bag with candles and the other passed him a second bag which he also filled up.
“Monday was our first day back open, which was good, but then I was woken by a call from the police.
“I didn’t know what I was going to find when I turned up, but I was worried it was not going to be salvageable and mean we would have to close again.
“Thankfully, we have boarded the window up and Waveney Glass have already been out to measure up to replace it, which should cost around £150.”
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This week, this newspaper has launched their Love Local campaign in a bid to back local businesses attempting to bounce back following the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Wade said: “I have been doing home deliveries to try and keep the business ticking over while we were closed.
“I’d take orders on our Facebook page, pick the items up from the shop and drop them off at their homes, but I was getting about half a normal day’s takings in a week.
“We were missing about 90pc of our usual takings when we’ve been closed.
“The lockdown had to be done and we had to follow the rules, and hopefully we have nipped coronavirus in the bud.
Mr Wade praised the backing of the town’s community following the incident.
He said: “When I looked on Facebook this morning, I could see the local community who like the shop are all behind and that is a big help.
“It has shown we have a strong following. More than 1,400 people have seen, commented and shared it.
“I would rather this hadn’t happened but it is good to know people out there support us.”
A spokesperson for Suffolk Police confirmed enquiries are ongoing, and urged anyone with information to call officers on 101, quoting crime reference 37/33060/20,
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