Royal British Legion collection box stolen in Great Yarmouth cafe break in

Carol Gilbert owner of Woodys cafe which was broken into using a drain cover which was thrown throug

Carol Gilbert owner of Woodys cafe which was broken into using a drain cover which was thrown through the glass door. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Brazen thieves have broken into an independent cafe less than two minutes walk from Great Yarmouth Police Station, stealing money and a charity collection box.

Carol Gilbert owner of Woodys cafe which was broken into using a drain cover which was thrown throug

Carol Gilbert owner of Woodys cafe which was broken into using a drain cover which was thrown through the glass door. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Carol Gilbert, who owns Woody's Cafe in Broad Row, received a call at around 6am this morning to tell her the windows of the cafe - which she has owned for around 12 months - had been smashed.

Ms Gilbert, who lives in Bermondsey Place, rushed to her business to find that the glass in the front door had been smashed to gain entry.

'It was a mess when I got her,' Ms Gilbert said. 'There was glass everywhere, I'm lucky they didn't trash the place really, but they've taken money and also the poppy collection put which we have every year.'

The glass door had been smashed using a manhole cover from a drain outside.

Woody's cafe in Broad Row, Great Yarmouth

Woody's cafe in Broad Row, Great Yarmouth - Credit: Supplied

'I'm really gutted more than anything else,' Ms Gilbert added. 'I've spent a lot of money changing the place and building my name, we were just finding our feet.

'But more than anything it's killing me to be turning customers away, we've got such lovely customers and we've had to turn away lots of regulars, and they just can't believe it.'

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One customer who had come along for breakfast was Mrs Webster, who lives nearby. She said: 'It's always so friendly and clean in there, and it's dreadful to think this has happened when someone is working hard to make a living.'

Ms Gilbert is adamant that although the cafe remains closed today, they will be open and welcoming customers in tomorrow.

'The police have come and done forensics so hopefully they will be able to catch them,' she added.

Norfolk Police confirmed they were currently investigating the break in.

Anyone with information should contact Great Yarmouth Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.