Shops hit by raiders

Karen and Ronnie Micallef at Sweet Emporium, Sowerby Bridge.
Karen and Ronnie Micallef at Sweet Emporium, Sowerby Bridge.

A Sowerby Bridge sweet shop and an e-cigarette store were the targets of robberies in a recent spate of high street thefts.

Sweet Emporium and Electro Vapours, Wharf Street, were broken into and money and stock was stolen by thieves.

Sweet shop owner Karen Micallef said thieves broke in through the back of the property and came up into the shop through a trap door where a heavy sweet cart stood.

Jars of sweets smashed to the floor in the break-in.

Robbers took the till and takings, shop rent money, a laptop, charity box takings and sweets.

Karen’s husband Ronnie Micallef walked into the mess on Tuesday morning.

Mrs Micallef said: “We’re uninsured so this is just devastating - this could cost us our business - we barely keep afloat as it is. It’s heartbreaking, I’ve cried for days.”

The mother of six said she has felt nervous and frightened opening and working in the shop since the robbery.

Mr Micallef found the till in canals at the back of the property and subsequently discovered theirs was not the only business to be targeted on April 21.

Nearby and newly opened Electro Vapours were also targeted that night.

Thieves broke into the property in the same way as the Sweet Emporium raid.

Manager Sat Singh said this has been a bad start to business after the retailers moved into Sowerby Bridge just weeks before.

Thieves stole atomiser and Vamo V5 batteries, electronic cigarettes, e-liquids and a laptop.

Ms Singh said: “Thieves don’t realise how much heartache they’re causing. We’re new to the area and this hasn’t given us a good welcome.”

To heighten security, the store has now been fitted with CCTV and a metal gate, to the rear of the property.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire police said thieves made off unseen and ask anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously that evening or knows any information to contact police on 101. Police enquiries are ongoing.