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Shopkeeper slams 'the worst thief in the world'
11:00am Tuesday 19th February 2013 in News
A SHOPKEEPER has said the thief who broke into his store at the weekend is ‘the worst criminal in the world’ after he stole the wrong part of the till.
The hapless criminal smashed the window of Vince Ayris’ shop, in Havelock Street, with a brick at 1.25am on Sunday, before returning 15 minutes later to kick the glass in and take the cash register.
Vince, who runs the store specialising in shoe repair, key cutting and engraving, is now urging shop owners in the area to be vigilant.
“They snatched the till but because I have split the till all they took away was the cash register.
“I have still got the drawer, which only had a bit of change in it,” he said.
“I have got a lot of zippos and lighters and even a bowl of tips but he didn’t take any of it.
“We’re going to put the brick on a little wooden plaque. He gets the award for the world’s worst criminal.”
When the thief kicked in the window, he set off Vince’s alarm system. The alarm company phoned Vince to warn him there was an intruder at the store.
“I responded like Batman – I got here and parked at the top of the street. When you look at the CCTV it looks like I passed the guy on Eastcott Hill,” said Vince.
“I was so close to catching him, which is the frustrating thing.”
The thief, who is white and in his late 20s, was wearing blue jeans and a dark coat with the hood up.
“It’s just annoying. It is mindless damage and it’s happening more and more because it’s so desperate out there,” Vince said.
“I’ve got friends who will help me repair the damage. This is the fifth time this has happened to me now.
“Swindon is such a great community but it lets itself down with these scumbags. If I had caught him he would have been strapped to the lamp post.”
Vince is stepping up security at the store and is urging other businesses to be careful.
“If one has hit me you can almost guarantee one is going to happen somewhere else.
“It needs to be highlighted because other shop owners need to pick up their security and make sure it’s locked down,” he said.
“I won’t tolerate it, it’s just not right. I am getting a new camera system installed so I can get a sharper picture.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said they were called to the scene at 1.55am after reports that a window had been smashed and the till had been taken. Officers are looking at CCCTV footage.
Witnesses or anyone with information should call Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, where information can be left anonymously, on 0800 555 111.