Thieves break into café and steal cash takings

PUBLISHED: 15:17 19 May 2017

Pete Burgess at the café.

Pete Burgess at the café.

Archant

Hundreds of pounds were stolen from a not-for-profit café by thieves who smashed their way into the premises.

Pete Burgess at the café. Looking at the damage to the door that was forced. Pete Burgess at the café. Looking at the damage to the door that was forced.

The Strawberry Line Café, which is accessible from Yatton Railway Station, was targeted by criminals at about 2am on May 6.

Almost £500 in cash was stolen, while the repair bill is expected to cost a further £250.

A police investigation has begun, and CCTV footage is being reviewed.

Volunteers and people associated with the café say the impact on it since the raid has been ‘devastating’.

Pete Burgess at the café. Looking at the damage to the door that was forced. Pete Burgess at the café. Looking at the damage to the door that was forced.

Antony Wakeford, on behalf of the café, said: “About £250 worth of damage was caused to the door and glazing, and to internal items.

“In addition, café takings were stolen, amounting to about £460.

“This total loss of about £710 is devastating to the business, which operates on a knife-edge.

“Losing this income will mean that we will have to raise additional funds to be able to guarantee the wages for our young people with learning difficulties – people who just want a chance to work.”

Avon and Somerset Constabulary is carrying out house-to-house enquiries as part of its investigation but, as the Mercury went to press, nobody has been arrested.

The café, which remains open despite the break-in, is popular with commuters but its primary focus is on helping people. Set up in 2008, it allows adults with learning disabilities to gain the skills and experience within the catering industry,

It means the café relies on grants, donations and money raised through sales to survive and the loss of more than £700 means it now needs the community to support it more than ever.

Mr Wakeford said: “Please support the café over the next few months to help us recoup some of these losses.

“Just pop in for a cup of tea or coffee, a cake or lunch, or one of the Cheddar strawberry cream teas. We are open weekdays, weekends and on bank holidays.

“You can also make a one-off donation, or join our Friends of the Strawberry Line Café and make a regular monthly donation.”

* For more details or to donate, email Antony@Yattonbookshop.co.uk

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