Appeal following second break-in at Colne arcade

from left, Andrew Birkett from E shoes, Laura Calleja and Frank Allanson from Arcade Cafe and Maria Birkett, E shoes, Colne
from left, Andrew Birkett from E shoes, Laura Calleja and Frank Allanson from Arcade Cafe and Maria Birkett, E shoes, Colne

A prominent Colne shopping arcade has been targeted by burglars for the second time in a fortnight.

And now business owners at The Arcade are appealing for witnesses to step forward and urging surrounding companies to remain on their guard.

The latest incident at the Market Street site occurred overnight on Monday when offenders forced their way into various business units from the top floor.

Among items stolen were charity boxes, a staff tip box, and a 50in. television from the Arcade Cafe Ltd, which was also targeted on July 21st, and a variety of branded footwear from E-Shoes.

The offenders also caused damage to the building by breaking skylights, smashing plasterboard and knocking stock off shelves.

As a result of the incident, which has been branded “sickening” by those affected, owners of The Arcade Ruth and John Barrett are having CCTV installed. Other measures are also being taken to prevent a similar incident happening again.

Mrs Barrett said: “The Arcade was broken into a couple of years ago when we were going under refurbishment, but not since. If anybody has any information can they step forward.”

Since the burglaries, all businesses have been open as usual, and residents are being urged to support their local shops.

Frank Allanson (61), who runs the Arcade Cafe Ltd with his wife Jill, said: ”This seems to be a spate that has started again, and it seems to be somebody who knows the place who is getting in.

“The last time they were disturbed after they heard a noise, and it was reported to police at 3-30am.

“I came in at 7am this time - I saw it straight away, and just couldn’t believe it.

“Thankfully they have not trashed the place - they have literally taken the money, taken the TV and gone.”

Maria Birkett (28), who runs E-Shoes with her dad Andrew (56), added: “Something needs to be done to stop this from happening to somebody again. Businesses might be struggling and something like this could take them under.

“We are not sure how much has gone - it is going to take days to count everything again.”

Since the burglaries, Mr Allanson has also thanked customers for their generosity towards his staff members.

He said: “After the first burglary, everybody felt sorry for the staff, and one lady even brought in her penny jar from home with five quid in it for them.

“This time somebody saw it online and came in with £5 - we would like to thank everybody who has come in.”

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101.