Kilburn coffee shop and Cricklewood supermarket suffer multiple break-ins
- Credit: Archant
Terrified staff at a Kilburn café barricaded themselves into the kitchen as a thief smashed the shop windows and stole cash and an iPad.
The attack on Monday morning was the fourth break-in at Maison de la Vie in Kilburn High Road in two months.
A mile down the road on August 30 a thief broke in to the Co-op in Cricklewood Broadway, stealing all the cigarettes. This was the third attack on the supermarket in three weeks.
Police said there were currently no links between the raids at the two shops.
A man broke into Maison de La Vie overnight on July 2 smashing the window and stealing £200, and then returned on September 1 and 2 when staff say he left empty handed. Workers looking at CCTV footage believe it is the same person.
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Agnes Gradzewicz, who works at the coffee shop, said: “This happened again in broad daylight on a beautiful Monday morning. It’s absolutely terrifying.
“At 8.55am a young guy came in and demanded money but we hadn’t been open long and had none. He said if we didn’t give him a protection fee he would smash the windows, then went outside and smashed it with a brick.”
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Passers-by challenged the man, who chased them off before returning to the shop. “He tried to get into the kitchen where my colleagues had barricaded themselves,” added Agnes. “They’d put a table behind the door so he couldn’t enter. They are traumatised by what happened.”
The man then went behind the counter and stole the cash and tablet computer before police arrived.
“We can try and claim for the window on our insurance,” said Agnes, “but staff members are terrified. It’s shocking. Instead of focusing on running the coffee shop we are fixing break-ins.
“When the police came last month said they would come back and pick up the CCTV footage but they haven’t. Obviously we hope the man will be caught and it will not happen again.”
A spokesperson for the Co-op said: “The Co-op takes retail crime very seriously and we have implemented a range of measures to both deter criminal activity and to aid convictions. We appeal for anyone with information to come forward to the police.”