Burglaries at two village takeaways

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Two businesses in a Chorley village were burgled on the same night.

Fish and chip takeaway Skippers and Indian tandoori takeaway Saffron, both on Talbot Row, were targeted in an overnight raid on Friday.

The burglars stole the cash till, containing about £250, from Saffron and ransacked the two premises searching for money.

They also damaged windows and doors getting in and out of the two properties.

Saffron manager Motin Miah said: “We were working in the shop on Friday until about midnight, and when we came to work the next day we found out we’d been burgled.

“The door was shut but it was broken, the lock was on the floor and they’d damaged the frame, either by kicking it in or using a crowbar or something similar.

“They went through the shop drawers. They must have thought money was concealed in the tea boxes, because there were tea bags all over the floor.

“Some of my paperwork has gone missing too, things I need to give to the accountants.”

Skippers owner Andrew Crook discovered the break-in at around 9.30am on Saturday.

He said: “They looked through the cupboards for money and, when they didn’t find any because it was in the night safe, just grabbed some drinks on the way out.

“The front door has slats, so they pulled those out and climbed in and out through the hole.”.

Police are now hoping the attacks were captured on nearby security cameras.

Mr Crook said: “It’s clearly not children or opportunists. They knew exactly what they wanted and it was a very slick operation.”

Both takeaways were able to re-open later on Saturday afternoon, one of the busiest trading days of the week.

Mr Crook and Mr Miah say the attacks, which have left both businesses facing a bill of hundreds of pounds to mend the damage, have left them shocked.

Mr Crook said: “People don’t see the amount of work you put into a business, and it’s not encouraging when this happens.

“There’s the worry the burglars might come back, and I feel I’m going to have to be more careful when leaving the premises.

“I’m just grateful they didn’t do any damage to the equipment.

“When you see what’s happened to people in London, Birmingham and Manchester, it could have been worse.”

A police spokesman said an investigation had been launched.

He said the burglars carried out ‘tidy’ searches of both premises before escaping undetected.

The break-in at Skippers was between 9.50pm on Friday aand 10am on Saturday while the break-in at Saffron was between 11.30pm and 3.30pm on the same day.