Shop owners have called for police to do more to stop burglars in Haverhill after their convenience store was targeted twice in the last month.
Jas Rai, 51, has run the Londis store in Leiston Road on the Clements estate with wife Pernjit, 47, for 16 years.
Burglars broke into an outbuilding they use to store goods on January 25, having already been thwarted in their attempts to get in after been spotted by Jas on January 19.
Nine cases of soft drinks worth around £100 were stolen, although the damage to the roof, which was ripped open to get in, will cost around £500 to repair.
On Tuesday (February 5) both windows of a delivery lorry were smashed and thieves grabbed a bag as the truck was pulled up delivering goods to the store between 11.50am and 12.59pm.
“The first time I saw them lying on the roof and gave chase, and I handed the names of two of them that I recognised to police,” said Jas.
“The next week they had done it again, lifting the felt off the roof to break inside.
“They tried to get into the Londis in the Chalkstone estate, which my nephew runs, by lifting the felt on the roof, but were unsuccessful.”
The couple believe the burglaries of their store are part of a trend of rising burglaries across the town.
“We had this maybe four years ago when they tried to go through the brick wall, but apart from that we’ve not had trouble.
“Things had calmed down until the last few weeks.”
The couple claim the burglars were a group of about ten teenagers.
“We want other shopkeepers to be more vigilant and to have the support of the police, but we don’t know who to turn to.
“The police know who they are as I gave them two names.
“I’m worried and angry that nothing is being done about this. It’s hassle and damage and I feel the police have to do something about it.”
Pernjit added: “Where are the parents? They should know where their children are and should be responsible for knowing their whereabouts.
“These are 14 and 15 year olds who are out at midnight and 1am, and being in large groups gives them to confidence to speak and shout at others in an intimidating way.
“Customers have told us that they find it intimidating.
“The police need to catch these kids and I don’t think they’re doing enough.”
Police statistics show the number of burglaries in Haverhill has fallen since last year.
The Londis store has been run by the Rai family for 25 years. Jas and Pernjit have four children – two daughters, aged 23 and 24, and two sons, aged 15 and 18.
Police statistics show that burglaries have fallen by 29 per cent from last year.
Between January 14 and February 4 there were 29 burglaries in Haverhill – six at homes and 23 ‘other’ (garages, sheds, etc).
In 2012 during the same period there were 41 burglaries – 12 of homes and 29 other.
Inspector Peter Ferrie said: “There have been more than I would usually expect recently and it seems there is someone out there committing these.
“I hope we will get positive results from the scenes of crime (from the Londis burglary) and be able to make some arrests.
“People need to make sure their premises are locked up and that they don’t leave anything on show, and with vehicles make sure they are secured.”
“We are putting extra patrols out and will stop and check people about late at night or in the early hours.
“If you are equipped for burglary or in possession of stolen goods, you will be arrested.”
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 14) Echo.