Shopkeeper fed up with constant thefts

A fed up shop owner claims ‘malicious thugs’ have broken in to his business five times in the past year - and now he is struggling to stay open.

The latest incident at Wold Antiques in Market Rasen saw would-be thieves target the store in the early hours of Monday morning.

Owner Mike Walton said intruders smashed their way through three internal doors and a wrought iron gate.

He said the alarm would have been ringing at this point so thieves grabbed the till in panic and rushed out. It was later found smashed up in the street.

Mike got a call at home at 1.40am and when he arrived at the shop the police were already there.

He said: “You know it’s going to be bad news when you get a call at that time.”

Back in February, Mike says thieves attacked his wife before stealing £5,000 of rings one Saturday.

He has already spent hundreds of pounds repairing damage caused by vandals and estimates this latest incident will cost him about £600.

Mike, whose takings are down 50 per cent on 2009, said: “Business is terrible anyway. We’re hanging on by our fingernails at the moment.”

And Mike had this message for the people causing the trouble: “I despise them. They’re malicious thugs who are just after a few quid for their next fix.”

Before this, the Queen Street store had only had three break ins in the ten years it has been in the town.

“The police do as good a job as they can with limited resources. They can’t be everywhere at once. But I do think penalties are not enough,” said Mike.

If you have any information call Lincolnshire Police on 101 quoting incident nine of October 22.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.