Man arrested amid string of smash-and-grab raids on town centre traders

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Bonds Barber Shop manager Sophie Simpson (left), with staff, lost out on business after they were raided on Monday

A MAN has been arrested by officers investigating a burglary in yet another raid on a business in Lymington.

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The incident took place at around 9.45pm on Monday at the Simply Be hairdressers in Roundhouse Court where cash and a till were taken.

On Wednesday morning a 40-year-old man from Lymington was arrested on suspicion of burglary and for two counts of making off without payment, and one count of theft from a shop.

Hampshire police are also investigating seven other reports of smash-and-grab raids at business in the High Street area of Lymington since Sunday 8th September and enquiries are ongoing into whether the incidents are linked.

Bond’s Barber Shop in Hendersons Court, just off the High Street was targeted in the early hours of Monday morning, and Manhattan Nails on St Thomas Street and Roots & Fruits in the Angel Courtyard were hit early Tuesday morning. All had windows or doors smashed.

Officers were called to Bond’s Barber Shop just before 6am on Monday morning by a resident who lives opposite after he heard the break-in and saw an offender inside the premises.

Shop manager Sophie Simpson (23) told the A&T: “We got a message from the guy that lives opposite the barbers, who is actually a client of ours, which informed us that he had heard a big bang and saw someone inside the shop before they ran off.

“They kicked in the window and crawled through but, realising they must had been heard, I think they just quickly took what they could grab as only our £30 till float was stolen, which is really lucky.

“I got in at half eight to clear up the glass which took nearly two hours and unfortunately we had to turn away clients, so we have lost out on business as well as having to pay for repairs to our door, which is really frustrating.”

Sophie added: “We would really like to thank our neighbour for alerting the police. Not only that, he even came down and boarded up the broken door panel for us so we will definitely make sure he gets a free haircut for all he has done.”

Such incidents have been described as an “epidemic” by the owner of Dorian Hair Designs, whose salon was ransacked alongside The Perfumery and Lymington Rowing Club within days of each other just last week. J W Hair and Beauty in Rashly Mews was raided in early September.

Lymington and Pennington Town Council told the A&T in a statement: “The council is saddened and deeply concerned that we are having constant attacks of vandalism and now, even more worrying, thefts at many shops and businesses in the town.

“A frustrating and devastating time for those hardworking business and shop owners, many of whom are small independent traders. We hope that CCTV is able to assist the police in identifying those responsible.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting the crime reference number 44190340673.

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