Anger as Southsea shops damaged in crime spree

BUSINESS owners have spoken of their anger after their shops were damaged and broken into.

Thursday, 18th May 2017, 7:42 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:52 pm
The door of Absolute Running

Three properties in Southsea reported the crimes to police following the spree in the early hours of yesterday.

Officers are investigating whether the incidents are linked.

One of the shops involved was Absolute Running, in Grove Road South. A police spokesman said they were called at 1.13am to reports of a burglary in progress.

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Owner Nick Carter said the front door was smashed in and the till stolen.

He said: ‘Quite a few shops in this area have been damaged recently, so we aren’t totally surprised it’s happened to us. I got a call at around 1am this morning saying the shop had been broken into.

‘It has made me really angry as we’ve only been here four months.

‘We have worked hard to establish this business and, short of living on the premises, which I don’t want to do, I am not sure what else can be done.

‘We think only the till and card machine were stolen, which means we can’t trade for the next couple of days.’

The front door of the shop was knocked off its hinges and will be expensive to replace.

Nick, who also owns the Absolute Running store in Gosport, added: ‘The building is a listed building, so the door needs to be replaced exactly as it was.

‘It is going to be expensive, even with the insurance covering some of it.’

The till had a float in it containing some cash, but Nick said loss of trade would hit them most.

Another shop affected was Percy Harrison Opticians, on Elm Grove. Its front door was damaged and a charity tin was stolen.

Owner Mark Esbester said: ‘I am not very happy about what happened, but I don’t know what we can do to stop it.

‘It was quite a surprise to get that call at 3am, even though I know other shops in the area have been damaged too.’

Police confirmed the opticians was broken into at 2am.

A spokesman also said in a similar incident on the same night, between 1am and 1.15am, a lettings agency on Marmion Road was broken into, but it is not known if anything was taken.

As previously reported in The News, Belgian bar Huis was broken into and damaged in March while Jam and Bowler, in Victoria Road South, had £150 stolen, also in March. Smile Cafe in Marmion has also been targeted.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting 44170184637 for Grove Road South; 44170184638 for Marmion Road and 44170184665 for Elm Grove.

n Officers investigating said last night two people had been arrested.

A 19-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, both from Southsea, have been arrested on suspicion of burglary with intent to steal.

A spokeswoman said the most recent burglary was at Absolute Running.