Spalding traders after break-in: "He even took our electricity bill"
A husband and wife have praised a neighbour and police for the speedy response after their town centre shop was broken into on Boxing Day.
Shane and Diane Graves said police found a man putting filling two plastic bags with goods from their Buy It Sell It Shop on Thursday last week.
The couple say police arrived and arrested the man within 14 minutes of the door of their Victoria Street shop being broken.
Mr and Mrs Graves say some of the thanks goes to neighbour Oleg Gotovciks, who had was alerted by the noise and luckily ran into an off-duty police officer who then called it through to colleagues.
Mr Graves, who has been running the store for seven years, said: "From the first kick of the door to the man going into the police van took 14 minutes which was awesome and down to our neighbour.
"Oleg deserves so much credit.
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"All of our customers have been sending messages through to show support. We have had 1,000 people show support."
Police were called just after 10pm on Boxing Day when Mr Gotovciks heard a disturbance from his flat.
He ran outside to see what was happening and then luckily ran into the off-duty officer.
Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Graves received a call from their store CCTV coverage to state there was a break-in and viewed footage of what was happening.
Mr Graves said: "I asked Diane to ring it through to the police and she got through to the operator who had taken the earlier."
Officers found a man in the shop filling up two bags with products, which were recovered.
Mr Graves said: "He had two bags that he had taken from the shop and was randomly filling up.
"He took tools and a pair of pliers and sim cards.He even took our electricity bill.
"He took two pairs of ear buds but the police had recovered them.
"But it is the cost of the repairs of the damage which is going to be more expensive."
The couple had boarded up the front door of the Victoria Street shop but had to fork up out £250 excess fee.
They were also expecting to see their insurance premiums go up in the new year as a result of this break-in as they have been forced to claim on the insurance..
Mrs Graves said: "We have never had anything like this. We always treat our customers with respect so they treat us in the same way.
"We have some homeless people come in and we always charge their phones so they can speak to their parents.
"We have also given them sleeping bags in the past and if it is cold they understand they can come in and get a hot drink and warm up. They show us respect as we show it to them."
The couple also remarked on the strong sense of community spirit among the independent traders in Victoria Street.
Mr Graves said: "It gives us peace of mind to know that we are looking out for each other down here.
"If the alarm goes off during the day then someone always comes to check."
Police say a 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary and possession of cannabis.
South Holland police added this onto their post: "Thanks to the public for reporting suspicious activity."