Published: 13:44, 31 October 2019
| Updated: 16:04, 31 October 2019
A furious business owner has stopped accepting charity collection boxes in her cafe for fear they will be stolen.
Gingerbreads in Stanley Road, Herne Bay, was targeted by raiders sometime between 6pm last Thursday, October 24, and 5am the following day.
Police believe the perpetrators tried to enter the building through a window, but failed to break into the cafe.
Emma Webb, who has been running the snack bar for two years, thinks the burglars also used a crowbar or hammer to try to prise open a door.
“It’s really upsetting because you work so hard,” said the 43-year-old.
“Nothing’s been taken but there’s loads of damage caused, and it all comes out of our pocket.
“I never leave money here – I did leave the collection pots here, but as of now they’re all gone.
"It’s just going to get worse as we get towards Christmas..." Emma Webb
“It’s disgusting that I can’t help raise money for local people and have a couple of collection pots in here for fear they may be taken.”
Ms Webb says there were attempted break-ins at three other cafes in Herne Bay that night – but police could not confirm whether they had received reports of the incidents.
She is now considering installing new CCTV cameras, double-glazed windows and spreading anti-climb paint across the top of the fences to the rear of the premises.
“It’s a long process, but we’re going to have to start doing everything we can now,” she added.
“It’s just going to get worse as we get towards Christmas.”
The latest incidents come just 12 days after burglars tried to break into the property overnight on Saturday, October 12, and Sunday, October 13. Nothing was taken from the cafe.
“It seems to be getting worse – from what I see on Facebook and in the paper there are more break-ins,” Ms Webb added.
“My neighbour caught somebody a month ago trying to jump over the fence, but there’s been nothing else like this.
“Unless there’s money left on the premises, they’re just causing mindless damage.”
Officers are urging anyone with information about the incidents to call them on 01843 222289, quoting the reference number 46/200744/19.