A desperate café owner said crime is ruining his business after a string of break-ins during the last 12 months.
According to owner Stefan Sykes, the Coast Café des Artistes on Beach Parade, Worthing, has been broken into on seven occasions – with items stolen ranging from bottles of spirits to ice cream and biscuits.
They are making their own community a more horrible place to beStefan Sykes
The damage caused by the break-ins has cost thousands of pounds to repair, delaying plans to expand and hampering the future of the business.
According to Mr Sykes, the first break-in occurred on October 25 last year, with the latest occuring two weeks ago.
During the penultimate break-in on April 19, Mr Sykes said ‘youths’ wearing hoodies were caught on the café’s CCTV camera hammering the door in with rocks. He claims they stole cake, biscuits and ice cream from his freezer which they proceeded to eat on the premises.
Mr Sykes, 47, of St Michael’s Road, West Worthing, said: “All my customers and staff are very upset that this is continuing for no apparent reason, apart from taking some biscuits and ice cream.
“It’s just destruction, but for what? Boredom?
“They are making their own community a more horrible place to be, and we don’t thank them for it.”
Because of the break-ins, Mr Sykes has had to hire a security team to patrol the site at night, install shutters and update the security system.
He said the repair of damages and loss of income had cost the business more than £9,500. Mr Sykes said he has reported the break-ins to the police.