Village shop owner’s anger after store break-in

Break-in at Pulborough stores. Saagar Patel with the damaged shop door. Pic Steve Robards SR1824822 SUS-180919-122529001
Break-in at Pulborough stores. Saagar Patel with the damaged shop door. Pic Steve Robards SR1824822 SUS-180919-122529001

A Pulborough shop owner has spoken of his anger after his store was broken into - forcing him to cut his holiday short.

Saagar Patel had gone on a break to Mallorca when his shop - Pulborough Stores - was smashed into in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Break-in at Pulborough stores. Saagar Patel with the damaged shop door. Pic Steve Robards SR1824831 SUS-180919-122603001

Break-in at Pulborough stores. Saagar Patel with the damaged shop door. Pic Steve Robards SR1824831 SUS-180919-122603001

A glass pane on the store’s door, in Lower Street, was shattered and the shop was ransacked, with a quantity of cigarettes and alcohol taken.

Saagar said: “I got a call just after midnight saying the shop had been broken into.

“I couldn’t sleep. I was in bed at the time, I woke up and I had about 1001 things going through my mind.”

After only arriving on the Spanish Island a few days previously he rushed home the following day to see the extent of the damage.

“It was ransacked,” he said. “There was stock everywhere, the tobacco unit was open, there was tobacco all over the place.”

Saagar took over the store in May last year and said this was the first time under his ownership it had been broken into.

Despite the break-in he was able to re-open as normal the following day, although there were a few hours where staff could not sell alcohol and cigarettes while investigations continued.

Saagar said: “I don’t think I really deserved that. I am trying to help out the village - I even went to the extent of getting a free to use cash machine in the store because all the banks have gone.”

He added he wanted to thank the local community, his staff and the police for their support throughout the ordeal.

Police said a report had also been received earlier that evening of a window being smashed at the Pulborough Sports and Social Club just down the road in Rectory Close. However, no-one entered the premises.

Investigations were carried out by officers and also a police dog unit.

Police said a 21-year-old woman of no fixed address, an 18-year-old woman, from Pulborough, and a 43-year-old man, from London, were all arrested on suspicion of burglary. They have been released under investigation.