Burglars pinch CCTV cameras, too, as Hitchin businesses are hit by crime spate causing thousands of pounds worth of damage

Cafe Chia's backdoor after crooks attempted to break in

Cafe Chia's backdoor after crooks attempted to break in - Credit: Archant

Two businesses in the centre of Hitchin were targeted by crooks in the early hours of Wednesday morning – with CCTV evidence being removed from one of the shops by the intruders.

Police are linking a break-in the Health Emporium in the High Street and an attempted break-in at the recently-opened Chia Cafe in nearby Churchyard.

The haul included £700 from the health shop, where damage estimated at up to £4,000 was caused.

Owner Andy Lowe said: “They got up to our roof on the third floor and spent a long time kicking it in so they could gain entry.

“They spent a long time on our premises, and they also removed our CCTV, but it’s the damage to the roof which is quite frustrating.

“I love my business and will not be deterred – if anything it will spur me on even more.

“But it’s really disappointing because it’s not the sort of thing you expect to happen in Hitchin.”

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Lucy Fisher, owner of the Chia Cafe, said: “A crowbar was used on our back door, but luckily our security deterred them from entering.

“It’s not a nice thing to happen, and we do feel violated and have thought: ‘Crikey - someone has tried to break in to our property.’

“We are not going to let it affect us and it’s business as usual. Hitchin is a great town and this isn’t going to change our opinion of it.”

In a separate incident on Tuesday afternoon money was stolen from the Garden House Hospice charity shop on Bancroft.

If you have any information call the police on 101 quoting crime reference numbers G1/15/2538, G1/15/2540, and G1/15/2541.