Jeweller's police call after raid

A JEWELLER who lost £50,000 worth of goods after burglars smashed their way into his shop claims small businesses could abandon some towns and villages unless police step up their presence.

A JEWELLER who lost £50,000 worth of goods after burglars smashed their way into his shop claims small businesses could abandon some towns and villages unless police step up their presence.

Lawrence Ryan said he was "sickened" after the raid at his Cartouche jewellery store in Tiptree.

He said while police could not be blamed for arriving half an hour after the alarms went off, businessmen like him were increasingly concerned about the risks they had to face.

Police could only operate within their resources, he said, but unless more help was given villages and small towns could face ruin.


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The devastated 58-year-old announced he would be putting up a reward, of an undisclosed amount, for the return of the stolen goods.

He and his wife Valerie had spent all their lives building up their business and now their livelihoods were under threat, he said last night.

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Burglars raided the store in Tiptree's shopping centre shortly after 2.30am on Sunday morning. CCTV cameras had been installed in the shop but they were not recording.

Mr Ryan said burglars cut through heavy-duty bolts, smashed their way through laminated glass and filled their bags with gold bracelets, diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

The alarms were set off alerting a central call centre, which called Mr Ryan as he slept just minutes away from the shop.

He dashed to the store with police arriving 30 minutes later, but by that time the burglars had fled.

Mr Ryan said: "To say I'm devastated is an understatement. You can't get insurance for places like ours because something like this could happen - this is a personal loss.

"We now have to spend a small fortune upgrading our security again – only recently we had someone grab a small tray of jewels from the shop.

"The police took half an hour to turn up and I know it's not their fault, but really when they arrived there was nothing they could do - the burglars had already fled without trace.

"As business people, the risk in setting up in towns and villages like Tiptree is getting bigger because the protection is not there enough."

Det Sgt Roger Napier, of Colchester police, said the early hours of Sunday morning were always a difficult time.

"We would all like more resources, but we have to focus our units where they are going to be most in need," he said.

"Unfortunately this raid happened around the time when late night pubs and clubs are closing and we have to have a lot of our units in Colchester town centre.

"When we get emergency calls, we do respond as quickly as we can."

Anyone with any information about the raid is asked to call Colchester police on 01206 762212.

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