Hunt on for shop raiders

Basingstoke Gazette: Hunt on for shop raiders Hunt on for shop raiders

RAIDERS are being hunted after three businesses in Overton and Whitchurch were broken into within the same fortnight.

North Hants Bikes and the Kings Arms, both in Whitchurch, and The Purple Olive, in Overton, were burgled between November 27 and December 8.

At North Hants Bikes, in Church Street, offenders stole £30,000 worth of bicycles and cycling equipment after breaking into the shop between 8pm on November 26 and 9.30am on November 27.

Neil Hart, who runs the shop with Daniel Green, said the thieves knew what they were doing, only targeting the shop’s high-end bikes.

He said: “The place was a total wreck, and bikes were left on top of other bikes. Anyone who runs a bike shop, they do not do it for the money. It is more of a passion. This break-in has had a massive effect.”

The following week, on December 8, thieves broke into the Kings Arms pub.

Landlady Jane Davison said: “We were broken into at 3am, they forced the till open and disappeared when the alarm went off. There was nothing in the till. They did damage the window which cost money to replace.

“All the break-ins have been within the last fortnight. It does concern me, particularly at this time of year.”

At The Purple Olive, in High Street, thieves stole random items of food from the deli and cafe, including a block of cheese, two hams, a two-litre container of Worcester sauce, Mars Bars and a packet of biscuits.

Sue Reeve, joint owner of the business with Steve Nicholls, said: “They have obviously equipped themselves for a nice few meals at Christmas!”

The burglars, who broke in through a window in the early hours of the morning on December 7, also stole around £150 from the till, a chopping board used for raw meat and some saucepans.

Mrs Reeve said: “When the staff came in at 8am and realised we had been burgled we had to section off part of the cafe so we lost the takings.”

Police are linking the burglaries at the Kings Arms and The Purple Olive, but not the one at North Hants Bikes.

Anyone with information on any of the break-ins can contact Whitchurch police station on 101.

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