BUSINESSES in Worthing have called for more frequent police patrols after being targeted in a spate of break-ins in recent weeks.
Since Boxing Day, 21 shops, cafés and offices were the victims of burglaries and attempted burglaries across Worthing, with seven businesses being targeted in Worthing town centre and the Broadwater area overnight between December 29 and 30, 2011, alone.
The main target for the burglars was cash, but some properties were broken into with nothing being taken.
Among the targeted properties were Costa Coffee in Montague Place, Karben Café in Portland Road, Worthing Football Club in Woodside Road and Quest Adventure in Ardsheal Road.
Guy Collingwood, partner of H.G. Scadgell, in Montague Street, had around £1,000 in cash stolen from the premises in Montague Street on the same night.
“The burglars smashed the glass on the side door and went straight to the office, where the money used to be kept,” he said. “This sort of thing shouldn’t be allowed to happen in an open area such as Montague Street.”
Shop-owners have said there needs to be a stronger police presence in Worthing, to deter the burglars from striking again.
Inspector Allan Lowe, of Adur and Worthing neighbourhood policing team, said: “Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in the number of burglaries and attempted burglaries to shops and premises in the Worthing area in the last couple of weeks.
“Officers have been carrying out high-visibility patrols across the town, including alleyways at the rear of shops, in a bid to trace whoever is responsible.
“During the patrols, officers have discovered some premises which appear to have been left unlocked overnight, leaving them vulnerable to burglars. “We would urge business owners and workers to make sure that their properties are secure when they leave at the end of the day.”
Mr Lowe reassured shop-owners action is being taken.
“As well as extra patrols, a local action team has been set up with the businesses to discuss how we can combat the burglaries,” he said.
“Identifying the offender or offenders that have been committing this series of burglaries is a priority.”
Police later confirmed two Southampton men, aged 19 and 29, have been arrested on suspicion of burglary.
The pair have been bailed until February.