Raiders strike for the fourth time in a year

Sioban Ellis with the broken glass at the Argyle Pet and Garden Centre

Sioban Ellis with the broken glass at the Argyle Pet and Garden Centre

First published in News
Last updated

The Argyle Pet and Garden Centre has been targeted by thieves for the fourth time in a year following a break-in on Wednesday night.

The store, on Cirencester Way, has been the victim of a number of burglaries throughout the year, and despite ensuring nothing of value is ever left in the building, vandals are still breaking in and ransacking the place.

Owner Mike Arthur said he could not understand why it kept happening at his store.

“This is about the fourth time we have been broken into,” he said. “There is nothing left there for them to steal, so it seems a bit pointless to me. 

“The damage here is not a great monetary value, because it is all garden plants and weed killers. It is just the fact they have broken in that gets me.”

Forty-seven-year-old Mike has taken steps to secure the property every time an incident happens.

“They are obviously looking for something,” he said. “The first time they broke in there was the float for the till that they made off with, which was in a bag in the kitchen. They were probably hoping it was there again, but we wouldn’t be doing that.

“Now they are just smashing windows and coming in to search for anything worth taking. We have screwed all the windows in place already, and the next step will probably be putting bars up. We don’t want to have to resort to that, because we don’t want to make the place look like a prison.”

The break-in was not discovered until the next morning when the store staff turned up for their shifts at 8.50am on Thursday.

“When the staff arrived in the morning they just found all the drawers open and everything scattered about on the floor,” Mike said.

“It probably won’t be for a couple of days until we notice we had something but it is missing now. That’s what usually happens. It is just anything they can sell on really. In the past they have made away with a drill and a toaster. Anything they can make a quick buck on.

“More than anything else it is the inconvenience. We will be putting some more security measures in, but where does it end? Each time we think they won’t bother coming back again. In the end you start to take it personally and think it might be someone you know.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Wiltshire Police are appealing for witnesses following a burglary at the Argyle Pet and Garden Centre in Argyle Road.

“The incident took place between 5pm on Wednesday, May 14 and 8.50am on Thursday, May 15.

“Offenders smashed a window and climbed through it before moving some items around.

“A stereo system was stolen.

“Anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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