THE new owners of a Christchurch pub were devastated after thieves snatched outdoor furniture bought specially to welcome back customers when the coronavirus lockdown lifts.
Entry was forced to the rear garden of the Lamb Inn in Burley Road last Wednesday night and an L-shaped sofa removed along with a coffee table and an eight-seater dining set with glass-topped table.
Sadie Kerslake-Smith, who recently took over the pub with her husband Richard, told the A&T the items were worth around £1,000.
Since reopening as Risaro @ The Lamb on 1st June, after the building had lain empty for about four months, the business has been offering a takeaway and delivery service.
Mrs Kerslake-Smith said: “It’s devastating really.
“We’ve been getting all the garden sorted because we’re expecting beer gardens to be the first things allowed to reopen. We’d bought the soft furnishings and had been replanting the raised flower beds.
“We’re going to have to put something there, but we’re just not sure what we will be able to buy especially when things are quite tight at the moment in the hospitality industry. We’re a small family business.”
The theft was discovered at about 7.30am last Thursday morning. Mrs Kerslake-Smith said: “The frustrating thing is that my son’s living there with his girlfriend and the thought of people casing it out is really uncomfortable.”
Security measures are set to be improved, including an increase in CCTV. Mr and Mrs Kerslake-Smith are hoping people will come forward with information, with the possibility someone might spot the furniture being offered for sale.
A post on the pub’s Facebook page, featuring pictures of the stolen items, called for the public’s help to track them down.
A Dorset Police spokesperson confirmed the incident and said there had been no arrests but enquiries were ongoing.
Those with information should contact officers on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.