Break-in is real setback for Basingstoke landlord

Basingstoke Gazette: Morgan O'Kennedy outside The Great Western Hotel Morgan O'Kennedy outside The Great Western Hotel

THE landlord of a Basingstoke pub which was targeted by raiders has spoken of his dismay about the impact the break-in has had on his bid to turn the place around.

Morgan O’Kennedy, who has been running the pub since last October, discovered that The Great Western Hotel, in Vyne Road, South View, had been burgled on the morning of March 13, when he opened up at 8am.

The burglars made off with £450 worth of spirits, £250 cash, a TV, a laptop, some keys, a Sky box, the CCTV system and a DJ set. Mr O’Kennedy said the total value of the stolen goods is likely to be between £4,000 and £5,000.

The landlord, who worked in hotels before taking on the running of the pub, said he has revamped it since taking charge and has been working hard to improve its reputation.

He said: “We have been trying to turn this place around, and this is a real setback. It feels like we are taking one step forward and one step back. It’s just such a shame”

He added: “The customers have been shocked by what has happened. We had to close the pub for a couple of days because of the fact we had no CCTV.

“It’s heartbreaking. Someone must know something and I would ask them to come forward. I don’t know if the people who did this even have hearts, but this has had a real impact on us and we just want to know who did this.”

The police do not know how the thieves got into the building, which had been left locked up.

Anyone with information can contact PC Dawn Jenks, at Basingstoke CID, on 101 or call Crime-stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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