Video: Shopowner tells of horror after thieves steal till

Harry Patel of Lavender News, Chantry with the new till that he has had bolted to the counter after

Harry Patel of Lavender News, Chantry with the new till that he has had bolted to the counter after thieves stole the previous one. - Credit: Archant

A SHOPOWNER has spoken of his horror after balaclava-clad thieves ran into his store and stole his till – in a dramatic theft that was over in seconds.

In shocking CCTV footage – which can been seen on The Ipswich Star website – two men burst into Lavender News in Lavender Hill, pulled the till off the counter and ran off into a nearby alleyway.

The drama unfolded at 7.30pm on Wednesday, leaving owner Harry Patel feeling shaken and scared.

Mr Patel – who says the total cost of the theft will amount to around £2,000 – issued a heartfelt plea for anyone with information to contact the police.

“It was very scary because out of nowhere these two men ran in wearing balaclavas,” he said.

“We close at 8pm so they must have known when to come. When they ran in they said something but because of the balaclavas covering their faces, I couldn’t make out what was being said.

“They picked up the till and ran out.

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“I think they must have been watching me inside the shop.

“The till they took is an old type of till so it is made from a very heavy metal. People must have seen them getting away from the shop before they ran into the alleyway along Crocus Close.”

The 38-year-old added: “It was all very scary because I have a young family that live above the shop and I didn’t know whether they had any weapons or what they were going to do.

“I didn’t know if they would try to hit me or anything.”

Mr Patel believed the theft was pre-arranged by professional criminals, due to the quickness of the crime and the fact they were wearing balaclavas.

“I have never had anything like this happen,” he said. “I have had people stealing bits and pieces but never people wearing balaclavas. I think it was by professional criminals. I think the shop was targeted and it was planned.”

A police spokesman said officers were investigating the incident and have issued a description of the offenders.

One is described as 6ft, wearing a large black hooded jacket with three stripes around the rim of hood and on the arms.

He was wearing black tracksuit bottoms with a white stripe down the outside leg and black and white trainers.

The second man was of a similar height, wearing all black clothing.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to contact Suffolk police on 101.