Bristol cafe The Orchard Coffee & Co broken into for the fourth time in three months

By Liam Buckler

The Orchard Coffee & Co in St George was broken into in the early hours of Monday morning - for the fourth time in the space of three months.

The coffee shop, which is based in Clouds Hill Road, has been forced to temporarily close in order to get the shop restocked and secured.

The local business is pleading with members of the public if they saw anything suspicious yesterday around 4.35am to 5.35am to get in touch with the cafe to help with their inquiries.

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Joel Viljoen, manager of The Orchard Coffee & Co, was contacted by members of the public via social media to inform his shop had been broken into, he said: "For the most recent incident I had various members of the public in touch via social media that we were broken into.

"The other three times we came in and noticed things were missing, our till, cash drawer, alcohol. They seemed to have started small and each time got bigger and bigger.

"We’ve lost stock as they turned all our fridges off, which now means we’ve had to reorder and spend lots of hours getting back up to where we were.

The shop was shattered with glass (Joel Viljoen)

"There's damage to the building door, glass smashed, safe ripped off the wall, CCTV hit of walls which we are still awaiting quotes plus the loss of sales from having to close."

The damage has been costly to the business, Mr Viljoen admitted, as they've had to repair the damage and restock, forcing to close the shop temporarily.

He said: "We’re doing a calculation of the most recent damage but it's looking like it's totalling around the £5,000 mark plus loss of sales which is a lot to recoup for a small business.

"Plus they loved our cakes as that went missing, glad we kept them fuelled up."

And despite putting multiple locks on and added security, the business continues to be targeted by thieves.

He added: "We’ve changed the locks multiple times, added extra locks on doors, put CCTV up.

"We had a short break which we thought we may of deterred them but got hit big on Monday morning.

"We are now reaching out to security companies to install shutters asap but this comes as a huge expense for us.

"We’ve got some CCTV which will be handed over to the police in which we can hope it brings this to the end."

After having to announce a temporary close on their Facebook page, customers lined up to offer their sympathy and support.

One customer wrote: "So sorry to hear this. I do hope you'll be up and running soon. There really are some mindless people out there."

And another added: "I am so sorry to read this. It's so horrible to think there are people in our community who could do this. Hope you are not closed for long. "

However Mr Viljoen won't be deterred from opening up again as he hopes to reopen up as quickly as possible, he added: "We’re looking to open in a few days time.

"We just need to build our stock level up and get our new security procedures in place.

"And we can reopen potentially tomorrow, fingers crossed."

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