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Bradford city centre shops raided by burglars
6:00am Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
Burglars have left two Bradford businesses, one of which is a charity shop, facing significant repair bills following break-ins in the city centre which were discovered yesterday.
A concrete block was used to smash the front window of the Oxfam store on Darley Street, with the raiders then forcing their way into an office to try to break into a safe.
It is thought they then broke through adjoining walls to get into The Uniform Shop next door, where thousands of pounds of stock has been taken.
Irfan Aziz, who has run The Uniform Shop for five years, said four walls, two doors and a ceiling had been damaged with what he believed to be a sledgehammer.
“I’m in shock. I don’t understand the purpose behind this at all,” he said. “You put your heart into a business and something like this just makes your blood boil.”
Mr Aziz said due to the amount of damage caused, the raiders could have been inside the shop for hours, something which made him feel “uneasy”.
“I work hard and when you run a business that is trying to serve the community this is not something you ever expect to happen,” he said.
Carl Knott, manager at Oxfam, said a collecting tin for Syrian refugees and a company camera had been stolen from the charity shop.
“It’s not about what was taken, it’s the damage that has been done to the shop,” he said. “The camera is important to us as it allows us to sell our more valuable stock online, but I’m just relieved that they didn’t manage to break into the safe.”
Mr Knott said damage to the window will lead to the entire shopfront having to be re-fitted, which could cost up to £3,000.
“It’s pretty depressing to be honest,” he said. “All our volunteers give their time for free and incidents like this are just dispiriting for all concerned.
“Our customers have said it’s disgusting that people should try to steal from a charity like this.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said the break-in was discovered after officers received a report shortly before 7am yesterday that two windows had been broken at the Oxfam shop.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.