Town centre shops targeted in burglary spree

Shops and businesses in Bolton, Greater Manchester, are counting the cost after 15 were broken into in the space of 10 days.

The spate of burglaries and vandalism attacks centred on the Easter Bank holiday weekend and have been going since the last week of March. Victims ranged from a café and cooked meats shop, jewellers and a night club.

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In Bolton, there was a mixture of burglaries where goods were taken and incidents where it appears the criminals were disturbed and escaped without stealing anything. However, most businesses were left with damage to repair which could run into thousands of pounds.

Inspector Dave Henthorne, of Bolton South and Central Integrated Neighbourhood Policing Team, told the Bolton News there was a problem with burglaries in the town centre.

He said: "We have had 15 since March 24, and we have an ongoing operation in place to try to catch those responsible."

Alex McVey, who owns the Odessa Cafe and Howcrofts Cooked Meats, arrived at his business in response to the security alarm being set off. He disturbed five people who had broken in, and said the gang had cut the electrics and clearly “knew what they were doing.”

Mr McVey added: "They were piling stuff up in the back street and were ready to take it away. It was equipment and stock. They were passing stuff through the side window they had broken.”