A LONG-standing Nelson cafe has fallen victim to metal thefts for the third time in just over a month.
Owners of Kate’s Kitchen had to shut the popular eatery this week after finding the Scotland Road cafe had been broken into yet again.
Police have said they are now upping patrols around the town centre in light of the incident.
It is believed, sometime over the weekend, thieves gained entry through barbed wire and mesh sheeting before removing glass in the roof and taking the 8ft. copper boiler.
Tracy Holmes, who has owned the shop for two years, said: “I came in on Monday to find we had been broken into again. It’s the third time in six weeks, it is just getting too much and I had to shut the cafe as we didn’t have any water.
“We’ve lost around £1,000 and now we are having to pay out of our own pockets as we’ve already made two claims to the insurer in two weeks. I had to tell the girls there was no point coming in. I’m losing money and customers. It’s disgusting.”
The first instance saw culprits remove lead from the roof at the beginning of October. It was only brought to Miss Holmes attention when rain started leaking in, resulting in the roof caving in and the rear of the shop being shut off. The second robbery saw the shop’s charity and tip box stolen as well as property worth £600.
Miss Holmes added: “I think it’s probably the same people who have cased it up and obviously couldn’t do it all at once so have come back. I just think what’s the point.”
Neighbourhood PC Sergeant Ben Hodgkinson said: “Kate’s Kitchen has been a repeat victim over the last six weeks. From the police’s point of view we are actively investigating and looking at CCTV leads, and in relation to the town centre we are increasing our patrols in the area.
“Scrap metal theft is a problem we are well aware of and is always one of our priorities. We have a special operation taking place this week that will be a regular occurrence but we rely on the public coming forward with information.”
Anyone who has any information should contact 0845 125 3545 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Kate’s Kitchen has since re-opened.