Thieves target deli after opening day

THE owners of a new delicatessen in Colchester were devastated after they suffered a break-in just hours after its opening day of business.

James Hore

THE owners of a new delicatessen in Colchester were devastated after they suffered a break-in just hours after its opening day of business.

Lancaster's Delicatessen in Colchester opened its doors for the first time on Saturday with Essex's own celebrity chef Mark Baumann appearing as a special guest.

But the joy for owner Paul Lancaster was short-lived after he came into work yesterday morning to discover he had been the victim of a break-in.


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The lower part of the front door of the Sir Isaacs Walk building had been kicked in and thieves have taken Mr Lancaster's laptop, a £100 float, sets of knives and bottles of champagne and wine.

Police have taken fingerprints from the scene and are now hoping to speak to anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity.

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Mr Lancaster closed the deli as he carried out a clean-up operation yesterday but said he hoped to be up-and-running again by today.

He said: “The whole feeling on Saturday and the response from customers walking through the door was that it was 'a much-needed new business to Colchester' and a good feeling of wellbeing was set, with free teas and coffees being giving out throughout the day.

“It's just such a blow - we feel like we've had the wind taken out of our sails after everything was going so well.

“It wasn't what has been taken it's the fact we've lost the momentum we feel we gained from Saturday.”

And his best friend and colleague Tope Ayandokun said: “We are really lucky they didn't do much to vandalise the actual shop itself - which had had over £15,000 spent on a refit.

“Basically, we have to keep thinking, it could have been a lot worse.”

Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity should contact Colchester police on 0300 333 4444.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “We are investigating reports of a burglary at Sir Issac's Walk which was reported just after 8.45am (yesterday).”

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