A LANDLORD is set to install a lifesaving defibrillator as a thank you following a “heart-warming” community response to thieves doing more than £1,000 of damage and stealing 50 bottles of booze.
Phil Hoyle says he has been buoyed by the warm wishes of regular customers and Ringwood residents after his watering hole, the London Tavern, was targeted at the weekend.
A web page set up in the wake of the burglary raised more than £5,500 – and Phil said he will pay the gesture forward as the amount is more than it will cost to fix the damage.
“What I am going to do is buy a defibrillator and install it there, since one is needed and it will be a good thing and a thank-you, too,” the 46-year-old told the A&T.
“That way at least something good can come out of this and it will be a big middle finger to the idiots responsible.”
The pub in Poulner was one of 11 places around Ringwood hit by burglaries between the early hours of 6th November and the morning of 9th November.
There were also incidents at the Railway Hotel and Sainsbury’s on Meeting House Lane, as well as eight at homes and garages.
Among the places hit were Burley Lodge stables, properties in Lyndhurst Road, Burley Road in Bransgore, Gorley Road and Green Lane, and garages at Burgate Court and Renoir Burgate Court on Salisbury Road.
The thieves got into the London Tavern by smashing down the cellar door, which itself will cost around £1,000 to replace.
On Sunday morning Phil discovered more than £1,000 of power tools and a jetwash had been stolen along with around 50 bottles of gin.
He laid a Remembrance Sunday wreath later that morning at the town’s war memorial – a role he performed as the current chair of the town’s Round Table organisation.
Phil was also helping cook dozens of takeaway Sunday lunches for paying customers and more free meals for key workers and vulnerable people in the local community.
He said: “To be honest initially it was really depressing. But the community has rallied and I am sort of feeling better now, bathing in the warm embrace of the help from our regulars and residents.”
A spokesman for Hampshire police said the incident at the London Tavern happened sometime between 9.20pm on Saturday 7th November and 7.50am on Sunday 8th November.
He said: “We would like to hear from anyone with information on any of these incidents. Did you notice anything suspicious? Perhaps you saw someone hanging around the area? Anyone with information can phone 101.”