Traders targeted in Christmas Day break-ins

Brothers Nick and Jon Frances of Paddock Farm butchers in Brailes, along with neighbouring businesses, after discovering their shops had been broken into in the early hours of Christmas Day. Photo: Mark Williamson. (B63/12/16/5510)

A SPATE of Christmas Day break-ins have left businesses in Brailes devastated.

Paddock Farm, Brailes Village Shop and French bakery La Tradition, were all targeted in the early hours of Christmas morning with callous thieves forcing entry to all three stealing cash, cigarettes and wine.

Roger Blake owns Brailes Village Shop from where around £1,200 worth of cash and cigarettes were taken.

“It’s not a very nice thing to happen, I’ve been living here for 25 years and I’m a bit surprised the dog didn’t wake up and bark. This incident has made me pay more attention to how I lock the shop.”

The nearby Paddock Farm Butchery in Lower Brailes also fell victim sometime between 5pm on Christmas Eve and 10.30am on Christmas Day. The criminals managed to gain access to the shop by smashing through a back door with an axe.

Nick Francis, who runs the business with his brother Jon, said: “They basically ransacked the place looking for cash, turning out all the cupboards and leaving it in a complete mess.

“Luckily we don’t keep any cash on the premises, especially over the Christmas period, but they did manage to get away with a few bags of change, not a large amount.

“It’s really disappointing because we’d just had a very successful Christmas period and then I get a call on Christmas morning saying there has been a break-in.”

At La Tradition bakery the criminals once again forced entry, this time through the front door, before making an untidy search of the property.

Reg Rose, who runs the shop, said: “There’s not much damage apart from a bit of broken wood around the outside of the door, but I’ve been down with my tools to fix that. I don’t keep cash here overnight so all they managed to take was some wine, I don’t think it was worth more than about £50.”

Enquiries are ongoing into both incidents but officers are keen to speak to people who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at the time of the incident. Anyone with information should call Warwickshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 quoting incident number 103 of 25th December.