Tea room targeted by thieves during lockdown

Flora Tea rooms in Dunwich was broken into after the lockdown announcement. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Flora Tea rooms in Dunwich was broken into after the lockdown announcement. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

The owner of a tea room which was broken into by thieves during the coronavirus lockdown has said it is “diabolical” that small businesses are being targeted at an already difficult time.

Burglars broke into Flora Tea Rooms, in Dunwich, on Tuesday night - grabbing a selection of sweets and desserts before fleeing the cafe after the alarm sounded.

John Elsley, the cafe owner, said it is shocking that thieves are preying on small businesses which have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “It is horrible that someone would do this at a time like this.

“Luckily they only managed to grab a load of sweets as the alarm went off and they must have run off, but it is still horrible.”

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Mr Elsley has worked at the rural cafe for more than 30 years. He said it has been broken into almost once every eight years.

He said: “The damage they cause by breaking in is more than what they manage to get away with. They are just opportunist thieves, as there’s not a lot to really take.”

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Police attended the incident along with a forensics team. The offenders were also captured on CCTV.

“It’s an unfortunate incident,” said Mr Elsley. “It’s probably just kids but I have heard of a few businesses being broken into recently, so maybe they are targeting small businesses.”

Mr Elsley he and his team have “just got to get on with it” and said police have been amazing.

The smashed window has since been boarded up and the tea room remains closed during the lockdown.

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