A Keighley newsagent said his livelihood was under attack after burglars broke into his business twice this month.

Abul Barkat, who has owned Habeeb’s Newsagent in High Street for 12 years, said the raiders inflicted thousands of pounds of damage and stole a large quantity of stock.

“It’s hard to express my feelings – but I’m angry and shocked,” he said. “I want to stay here, and my regular customers want me to stay.

“But business is difficult. It’s just me working here – I can’t afford to employ another person. I’d had the damage from the first burglary fixed, now this has happened.”

His friend, Ahsan Ullah, said Mr Barkat worked long hours to provide for his wife and children, only to be targeted by criminals.

The latest burglary occurred early yesterday. Mr Barkat, of Knowle Park, said the criminals destroyed a padlock, wrenched free a metal grille, then smashed through a window.

They ransacked the premises, stealing cigarettes, sweets and energy drinks. They left a crowbar, which was discovered lying on the shop counter.

The shop was open for business as usual yesterday. But Mr Barkat said the burglary had cost more than £2,000 in lost stock and damage.

He said this happened a fortnight after an incident when thieves battered their way through the front door late on November 6 or early on November 7.

They took cigarettes, sweets and drinks worth £2,000. “I was also burgled about four or five years ago,” he said. “That time they got in through the back and took a lot of things.”

Inspector Tony Reed, of the Keighley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I can fully appreciate the impact that such offences can have on local businesses, particularly having been targeted in this way.

“We are not prepared to accept this and we are focusing our resources upon the town centre to ensure a visible presence throughout the day.

“Officers are working closely with the victim, looking at crime prevention measures which could be employed in the premises. Likewise, we are studying CCTV from the area and making a number of enquires to trace those responsible.

“If anyone has witnessed either of these incidents or have any information about those responsible, we would like them to contact us on the non emergency number 101.”

Police say there have been 386 fewer burglaries in Airedale and North Bradford between April and October 2012 compared to the same time lastv year. The force has launched its latest campaign entitled ‘It Only Takes A Minute’ to help tackle burglary. Visit westyorkshirepolice.uk.