A BAR owner in Highcliffe is warning other businesses in the area to be wary of burglars taking advantage of the coronavirus lockdown.
Simon Maycock, of Napoleons in Lymington Road, revealed how thieves had smashed the lock off a door at the bar during an attempted burglary.
Two other businesses – the Paddle, also in the main street, and The Beach Hut Café in Friars Cliff – were broken into and items stolen.
Mr Maycock has now alerted other bar, shop and restaurant owners to what has happened telling them to be on the look-out for thieves who are targeting businesses that have been forced to close during the lockdown.
He said: It’s a shame that there are people that choose to take advantage of businesses being closed.
“Nothing was taken but it’s hard enough as it is for businesses at the moment that we have to close – this kind of behaviour doesn’t help at all.”
He has reported the attempted break-in to the police and has posted an alert on a
community business social media page.
Warning other owners to keep an eye on their premises, he said: “I encourage other local businesses to keep checking on their premises and hopefully we will all look out for each other.”
The owners of the Paddle revealed the popular eatery had been targeted by thieves who had stolen a camera containing precious photos of their young daughter. Appealing for the return of the pictures on their Facebook page, they said: “While we are trying to keep positive in these hard times, unfortunately we have a not so happy post.
“The Paddle was broken into over the past two days and while there was very little on site to tempt a thief, our camera was taken, which has a number of photos of our little girl Ella on.
“Moments that we sadly won’t be able to see again.
It is a Nikon D5300. If anyone tries to sell it on anywhere, please get in touch.”
A post on the Facebook page of the Beach Hut Café revealed a coffee machine had been smashed during the break-in, believed to have taken place on 29th March.
It said: “Unfortunately, we have become the latest business to be broken into, it happened last night around midnight.
“The two lads – we have banging CCTV footage – carried out a reccy before coming back with their bag of tools, they then gained entry via our kitchen window.
“They took both tills and damaged one of the coffee machines. We’ve been closed for a week so there was no money except a small daily float.”
Customers were quick to comment, with one posting: “Disgusting. And you are such lovely people.
“Sadly, this current situation brings the best and the worst out in people. Sending love and hugs.”