Spalding police are following up “a number of lines of enquiry” after a town centre newsagent was raided for the third time in as many months.
Cash, cigarettes and tobacco worth a total of £2,150 were stolen from Classic News in Sheep Market at about 11.15pm last Sunday, January 14.
Shop owners and brothers-in-law Asgar Vanparekh and Abbas Lakmidhar, who also run Spalding News in Market Place, were previously hit by two burglaries on Wednesday, October 25, when cash and goods totalling at least £3,000 were stolen.
Inspector Gareth Boxall, South Holland neighbourhood policing inspector, said: “There are a number of lines of enquiry which we are following up.
“But we would ask anybody who saw anything at or around the Classic News store in Sheep Market to call us.”
Anyone with information should call 101, quoting incident number 370 of January 14.”
TUESDAY 12.55PM: Spalding newsagents reeling from third burglary in three months
Bosses at a Spalding newsagents are reeling from a raid that saw them lose cigarettes worth £2,000 and a £150 cash float.
Sunday’s burglary at Classic News in Sheep Market was the third in three months.
Brothers-in-law Asgar Vanparekh and Abbas Lakmidhar, who also run Spalding News in Market Place, are now considering the future of the Sheep Market shop because they still haven’t recovered the £3,000-plus losses from the previous raids, which happened on the same day, Wednesday, October 25.
Previously, intruders broke in through a back door but failed to get in that way on Sunday night.
Thieves instead scaled the back of the building to remove an upstairs window at an unoccupied flat before making their way downstairs into the shop. The business owners were alerted by their alarms company at about 11.10pm.
Asgar, who made his way to the shop from his Peterborough home, said: “It’s a nightmare.
“We could see the cigarette cabinet was open and the till was broken.
“They (the thieves) left the crowbar and gloves.
“In May, we will have been here for three years.
“We are only a small business and we haven’t recovered our losses from the last time.”
The two men are now deciding whether to step up security and soldier on or quit the shop, but yesterday (Monday) it was too early for them to say which way their decision will go.
“I am thinking about putting security measures and cameras and everything in,” said Asgar. “It all takes time.”
After checking out the shop in the wake of the raid, Asgar went home at about 1.45am and says a police guard remained at the scene.
At about 9am yesterday, police forensics were checking the premises for evidence.
As well as the ongoing threat of future raids, the shop owners are fighting competition from Spalding shopkeepers dealing in black market cigarettes, with non duty paid packs selling at £3 for 20 while legal cigarettes at Classic News retail for £7 or £8
Asgar says he’s lost customers because they are buying the cut-price, illegal cigarettes but says: “We have still got loyal customers who know what’s legal and what’s illegal.”
He says Classic News can’t give up its cigarette sales because they are the main part of the business.
A police spokesman said: “We received a report of a burglary at the Classic News store in Sheep Market, Spalding, which took place at approximately 11.15pm.
“A sum of money and cigarettes is believed to have been taken. This is being investigated as a burglary offence, and no arrests have been made at present.
“If anyone did see anything, we would ask that they ring 101 quoting incident 370 of 14 January.”