Thieves kick through door of coffee shop and steal cash from Christmas tip jar
PUBLISHED: 14:44 17 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:57 20 December 2018
Thieves “kicked through” the door of a Norwich coffee shop and stole £200 from a Christmas tip jar.
The Little Red Roaster on St Andrew’s Hill was targeted on Saturday night for the second time in less than a year.
About £750 in cash - including £200 from the staff tip jar - was stolen during the raid.
Darren Groom, who runs the business with his wife Kate, said: “I felt sick when I heard what had happened.
“The first time you get broken into you are just angry and you deal with it.
“But the second time round, considering how hard it already is on the high street, to be dealt a blow like that...”
Back in April, about £1,000 was taken from the shop after thieves broke in through the back door.
The latest incident was discovered by a member of staff on Sunday morning (December 16).
Mr Groom said she was left “unnerved” by what she found.
“The front door had been kicked through,” he said. “They didn’t make too much of a mess inside to be honest, but they stole just under £300 from the float.
“The tip jar was under the counter and they took that, along with a few takings in cash from Saturday.”
He said thieves broke through two locks on the front door to gain access.
Mr Groom said: “The hardest thing for us was the staff’s tips going, because that was given to them in appreciation of their work.
“But it was also the fear it put into the staff. It left them feeling frightened and they didn’t want to go into the kitchen or the basement.”
He said efforts had been made to secure the premises following the burglary earlier this year.
Mr Groom said the rear of the shop was now like “Fort Knox” and CCTV cameras had been fitted.
The first break-in happened between April 7 and April 9, and was linked to another incident at a nearby hairdressers.
Norfolk police confirmed they were called the coffee shop on Sunday following an overnight break-in.
Mr Groom said customers had shown their support following the raid.
He said: “The amount of customers just coming in to put money in the tip jar is really quite something.”
A Norfolk police spokesman said: “Thankfully the last 12 months has seen a drastic reduction in our burglary other offences which includes burglaries to premises such as these small businesses.
“I can fully appreciate that there is a significant impact to independent retailers when they are victims of this type of crime and we seek to support them by trying to minimise any ongoing disruption to them so that they can begin trading again as soon as possible.”
• Anyone with information should call Norfolk police on 101